July 1, 2020 - 12:00pm

This event has already occurred.

Embodied Carbon: Basic Principles and Architectural Impacts - Part 2

During this turbulent time on our planet it is quite clear that both our actions and our inactions have consequences. Social, racial, climate and environmental justice are tied together and represent the compelling issues of our time. Architects and others in the AEC industry are called to rethink the negative externalities of traditional practices, and building-related carbon emissions and accounting are central topics. 
This two-part carbon fluency educational lecture series is for all architects, designers and construction professionals. After attending, participants will understand the basic terms and importance of embodied and operational carbon as they relate to architecture, engineering and construction industry. Attendees will be confident in their ability to speak about the Architecture 2030 Commitment and Challenge to their clients and project teams. The Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) process will be presented as a tool for architects and consultants to measure, discuss, and make changes based on impacts of a project. Long term design impacts including indoor air quality and refrigerant leakage will be discussed.  
Case studies describing embodied and operational carbon accounting for the following three different commercial projects will be presented: a full building renovation; a new construction project based on structural concrete framing; and a new building based on cross-laminated timber (CLT) framing. These deeper dives provide clear direction and insight so that architects and project teams are able to start to implement carbon accounting in firm-wide projects.

Learning Objectives:

    1.    2019 AIA Resolution voted to reduce carbon of buildings-both embodied and operational.  This presentation will define embodied and operational carbon, and how these relate to welfare as a benefit to the environment, and plans to achieve the Architecture 2030 commitment and pressing timeline for decarbonization.
    2.    Measure and analyze the impacts of material choice, specifically structural systems, on embodied carbon through reporting Global Warming Potential (GWP) with Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).
    3.    Investigate the impacts of mechanical system upgrades on indoor air quality, embodied, and operational carbon in a renovation project.
    4.    Discuss global health impacts of refrigerant leaks over operational lifespan of a VRF system.



Kelsey Wotila
LEED Green Associate
Research Fellow

Kelsey Wotila is a Research Fellow at EskewDumezRipple studying reduced carbon of construction and building operations.  Her research makes ZEROCode and Architecture 2030 targets for carbon accessible.  Kelsey graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a Master of Architecture, and earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado Boulder.  After practicing architecture and design, she moved toward understanding impacts of the building industry and built environment.  An emerging professional in carbon accounting, Kelsey has the skillset to convey complexity at an introductory level.

Her work with EskewDumezRipple results in simple guidelines for architects to understand impacts of their design decisions.  Kelsey has been recognized by Project StaSIO for her work graphically communicating impact on embodied carbon of structural components as part of a building system.
She has partnered with MEP consultants to accurately quantify the impact of various systems compared to their cost and energy efficiency.  She presented at CarbonPositive 2020 on her MEP research in the form of a case study. Through her research, she seeks simple answers to complex questions, allowing for immediate, impactful decisions to be made.


BEC: Austin is an interdisciplinary organization that promotes the exchange of information on building enclosures and related science specific to the climate of Central Texas.

Interdisciplinary:  architects, engineers, contractors, building owners, consultants, facility managers, code officials, educators, manufacturers, and those with a stake in building enclosure performance

Exchange of information:  discussion, training, education, outreach, and awareness

Building enclosures and related science:  energy-efficiency, moisture control, indoor air quality, longevity, and durability

BEC: Austin typically meets the first Wednesday of each month from 12-1pm.
2020 BEC: Austin Committee
Chair: Kayla Maines, AIA
Chair-Elect: Andrea Hellerman, AIA