Page 1

2019

2022

2026

2030

Carbon Commitment


This tool provides the argument, goals, and strategies for designing carbon neutral buildings. Use this booklet to guide the conversation around identifying low carbon options in the design, construction, operation, and deconstruction of the project. As research develops surrounding the carbon equation and we identify obstacles, strategies, and successes, add to this booklet for reference in each project. Ultimately, this booklet formulates the foundation for a carbon neutral environement.


Embodied carbon defines all carbon both released into the atmosphere and stored within the material throughout its lifespan.

Embodied Carbon

Extraction

Manufacture

Transport

Design


Operational Carbon defines all carbon released into the atmosphere through energy use of the building systems.

Operation Carbon

Construct

Use

Demolish

Dispose


Embodied Carbon

Extraction

Manufacture

Transport

Design

Extraction of raw material releases carbon through mechanical processes and soil disruption.

Manufacturing releases carbon through mechanical processes and creates waste in the form of heat and scraps which tend to end in the landfill.

Transporting material occurs at each stage of the project, so the amount of carbon released varies greatly by material sourcing, manufacturign, design, construction, and demolition.

Although design may only contribute a minute release of carbon through digital and analog activities, the stage dictates the carbon release of all project stages.


Operation Carbon

Construct

Use

Demolish

Dispose

Construction sites release carbon through onsite energy use, soil disruption, transportation, and material waste.

The operational carbon of buildings contributes to half of a building’s carbon release through lighting, air conditioning, plug loads, water sytems, etc.

Demolition’s carbon release often mirriors the release from construction.

All of the carbon within the material that builds from the material’s ‘growth’ through extraction is released through landfills and incinerators.


2050 EC

Total Carbon

The graph above represents the use of carbon for typical building. On face value, the operational carbon (OC) apears greator than the embodied carbon (EC)

OC


However, we need carbon levels dramatically decreases by 2050, so EC is equal or greater than OC.


Plus, when we consider renovations, and average building lifespans, the EC doubles in the same time period.


In the case of commercial tenant improvements, although the intial EC is lower than new construction, the short term leases (2-5yrs) result in greater EC.


Embodied Carbon

Extraction

We need to transform the current design process into a circular lifecycle that decreases, negates and stores carbon.

Manufacture

Transport

Design


Operation Carbon

Construct

Use

Deconstruct

Reuse/Recycle


Embodied Carbon

Designing for prefabrication, modulation, and deconstruction significantly decrease carbon loads.

Extraction

When materials are reused, less raw material is need. Plus, biogenic materials like wood, wool, and straw store the carbon they capture before extraction.

Manufacture

Transport

Local sourcing, prefabrication, and modular design decrease transportation needs.

Design


Operation Carbon

Prefabrication and modular design decrease time on-site, so thus less energy use, less waste and site disturbance.

Biogenic materials create healthier environments and higher performance ratings than many conventional materials.

Construct

Use

Reclaiming materials for reuse and recycle, connects the circular loop back into manufacturing, design, and construction.

Deconstruct

Reuse/Recycle


40 2030

Carbon Emmissions (GtCO2)

340 GtCO2

20

10

According to the IPCC, the total CO2 budget, beginning in 2020, is about 340 GtCO2 for a 67% probability of staying below 1.5 degree C, and about 500 GtCO2 for a 50% probability of staying below 1.5 degree C. In order to avoid global temperature rise, we must meet carbon neutrality by 2040, tens years earlier than the original deadline.


2050

2040

500 GtCO2


207

109

-10

-126

1

2

3

4


Four material categories organized by EC for a typical single family and a mid sized multifamily project have been identified in a study by contractor and architect, Chris Magwood. Category 1 includes conventional building materials with high EC. Category 2 includes concentional materials with low EC. We can cut emmisions in half while still using conventional materials. Category 3 uses a mix of convential and unconvential materials which store carbon. Category 4 includes only carbon storing, biogenic materials. If we want to reach carbon neutral design we must transition from category 1 and 2, to category 3 and 4 materials.


236

128

-11

-133


When we factor in OC carbon, the efficiency increases as the EC decreases. Biogenic materials allow for tighter envelopes, greater insulation values, and healthier air. All of which decrease the operating loads. If we add renewable energy sources, grey water systems, daylighting, natural ventillation, and high efficient heating and cooling, we reach net zero and energy storing buildings.


2019

2022

2026

2030


Carbon Commitment

Goals: 2019 - Commit to designing and constructing carbon neutral buildings by 2030 2022 - Specify category 2 materials and cut OC by 50% 2026 - Specify category 3 materials and cut OC by 100% 2030 - Specify category 4 materials and cut OC by 115%

Strategies: - Share the Carbon Commitment with our clients, contractors, and consultants - Conduct whole building life cycle analyses - Identify suppliers for reclaimed materials - Design for deconstruction & reuse - Actively learn and explore new, low carbon materials - Critically analyze environmental product declarations (EPD’s) for all specifications - Compete in the Carbon Challenge


Sharing the commitment Sharing the commitment is both a marketing and a design strategy. Marketing: As building codes and regulations grow more strict on carbon sequestration, clients will search for firms who focus on low carbon design. Sharing our commitment will place Siol’s name on their radar. This means sharing, - Our committment on all social media platforms (website, Instagram, LinkedIn). - Publish life cycle analysis data with all projects to show knowledge and expertise of low carbon design. Plus, the data can contribute to industry wide innovation. - Sharing our knowledge with our clients, so they better understand the goals and strategies. Design: We cannot acheive these goals alone. Everyone must be at the table for the each decision. This means, - Beginning every project by setting carbon goals in conjunction with the budget and timeline for realistic, achievable solutions. - Identifying contractors specializing in deconstruction. - Identifying consultants specializing in low carbon strategies.


Whole Building Life Cycle Analysis A whole building life cycle analysis (wbLCA) calculates the carbon storage and emissions for every material in the project. Constructing these models begins with basic massing models in the schematic stage. These analyses require specific EPD’s from product manufacturers or industry standard EPD’s. Conducting the wbLCA will require, - Using LCA software tools such as OneClickLCA to calculate total carbon. - Using free, open database tools such as the EC3 tool developed by Autodesk to identify low carbon materials. - Creating 3D models using Revit and/or Rhino for calculating material take-offs and energy efficiency. - Pressing product suppliers for EPD’s.

Reclaimed Materials The lowest carbon building material has already been made and used. By using reclaimed materials, transportation is the only carbon cost accounted. Identifying these materials and ensuring they are safe for reuse requires support from deconstruction contractors and reclaimed material suppliers.


Design for Deconstruction/Reuse Designing building elements for deconstruction ensures the materials avoid the landfill. Additionally, modular elements can retain investment value, so instead of amoritizing the building value over time, the value remains equal to or greater than the initial investment. This incentive helps developers gain more return on investment for producing carbon neutral buildings. Designing for deconstruction will require, - Creating modular elements that can be reused in their entirety, or broken down into the individual materials for reuse. - Identifying and using materials that will retain condition longer than the predicted building life span. - Identifying and using materials that require little energy for recycling. - Considering permenant vs. temporary building elements.

Study Materials The entire design team should know and understand materials (good and bad). Any member should have the knowledge to explain these products to a client or contractor, so we can remain efficient and timely. Moreoever, as we learn about these materials, we can catelogue them for quick reference and specification in design projects. - Attend in-office workshops one-two times per month on new or existing materials. - Build low-carbon material sample library. - Experiment with materials to develop innovative, low-carbon building elements.


Environmental Product Declarations We cannot manage what we do not measure. EPD’s identify the cradle to grave analysis for carbon emmitted and stored in a specific material or product. Not all EPD’s are created equal, so understanding the standards and types of EPD’s is crucial for comparing products. Our team must, - Learn and understand the three types of EPD’s and the corresponding standards. - Actively request EPD’s from product suppliers, so we can account the carbon in our wbLCA.

Bay Area Carbon Challenge The California Straw Building Association, Stop Waste, and the Embodied Carbon Network initiated the Bay Area Carbon Challenge. Applicants must present their built projects with their wbLCA as proof of carbon neutrality. Competing in this competition and staying involved in discussions with groups like the Embodied Carbon Network will support our education and marketing strategies. Additionally, we will help support the industry acheive the national 2040 carbon goal.


Case Study 1: House Zero Harvard GSD and Snohetta


House Zero presents a powerful example of zero net energy, but fails to sequestor embodied carbon. We may equate this project to the industry standard for declaring a building to be ‘zero carbon’ when what they really mean is zero net energy. As discussed in previous segments, EC makes up roughly half the carbon of our buildings, so even if the building collects solar energy and operates efficiently, the EC may override successes of the OC efficiency. In addition, House Zero acheives thermal energy storage with thick, heavy concrete floor plates. We must recognize the balance between adding more insulation and the EC of the insulation. Consider first a different material with lower carbon or carbon storing properties, then decide insulation thickness and density.


Case Study 2: Zero House

Trent University and The Endeavour Center


Zero House acheives both stores EC and meets zero net energy at the same cost of an average single family home. The modular design significantly decreased onsite construction, reduced project waste, increased insulation factors and allows for deconstruction. To illustrate the efficiency of biogenic materials, the SIP’s were stuffed with multiple types of insulation including strawbale, mycelium, cork, and cellulose. Plus, once closed, any finish can be applied to the walls and floors, so the look and feel of the building is not restricted by the insulating or structural materials. Also, the modules are not restricted to rectalinear forms. We can expand on these design strategies to create unique and elegant designs without altering the carbon output.


The final segment of this booklet includes EC quantities for conventional and non-convential building materials from Chris Magwood’s study. The quantities shown here are for an eightunit, four-story apartment building in Toronto. The elements are categorized by building element and include composite elements where necessary. Although these figures may not directly apply to our projects, they serve as a rough comparision of applicable materials. For example, these figures can be used to develop rough baseline models for projects during the early schematic stage.


EC Material Quantities (kgCO2) Footings Earthbag (rammed earth in polypropylene tube)

High SCM concrete, 25mPa, w/ best rebar

Typ. concrete, 25 mPa, w/ average rebar

Foundation Structure

Rammed earth CMU with high SCM concrete fill and best rebar

8-inch poured concrete wall, high SCM concrete, 25mPa, w/ best rebar

8-inch poured concrete wall, typ. concrete, 25mPa, w/ average rebar

Foundation Insulation

Hempcrete

Mineral wool board

Expanded polystyrene (EPS)

Closed cell spray polyurethane foam (ccSPF) w/ HFO blowing agent

Closed cell spray polyurethane foam (ccSPF) w/ HFC blowing agent Vacuum insulated panels (VIP)

Aerogel blanket

Extruded polystyrene (XPS)


0

0

-3000

300

1000

-2000

600

2000

-1000

900

3000

0

1000

4000

2000

1200

5000

3000

4000

6000

5000

7000

6000

7000


Foundation & Integrated Insulation

ICF w/ cement-bonded wood chip & wood fiberboard insulation inserts, average concrete fill & rebar ICF w/ cement-bonded wood chip & mineral wool inserts and high SCM concrete and best rebar Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) ICF w/ expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation, polypropylene webbing & 8-inches of average concrete & rebar

Foundation Slab Structure

Adobe floor

Poured concrete, high SCM

Poured concrete, average

Floor Framing for Three Floors

CLT floor deck (no sheathing required), FSC-certified

Wood floor trusses

Plywood subfloor sheathing

2x12 framing

OSB subfloor sheathing

Wood I-joists

CLT floor deck (no sheathing required)

Steel open web joists


-4000

-2000

0

-10000

0

2000

-5000

2000

4000

0

5000

4000

6000

6000

10000

8000

8000

15000

10000

10000

20000

25000


Exterior Wall Structure & Insulation

CLT walls w/ wood fiberboard exterior insulation, FSC-certified lumber

Double stud wood framing w/ straw bale insulation Wood framing, chopped straw insulation w/ wood fiberboard exterior insulation Cement-bonded wood chip ICF, wood fiberboard inserts and average concrete and rebar Double stud wood framing w/ hempcrete insulation and wood fiberboard exterior insulation Wood framing, wood fiberboard exterior insulation only Wood framing, dense-packed cellulose and wood fiberboard exterior insulation CLT walls w/ wood fiberboard exterior insulation Wood framing, fiberglass batt, OSB sheathing and EPS exterior insulation Wood framing, mineral wool batt w/ mineral wool board exterior insulation and OSB sheathing SIPs, EPS foam w/ OSB both sides Wood framing, ccSPF w/ HFO blowing agent and OSB sheathing w/ 1-inch of EPS exterior insulation Wood framing, VIPs with OSB sheathing Cement-bonded wood chip ICF, mineral wool inserts and average concrete and rebar Wood framing, fiberglass batt, OSB sheathing and XPS exterior insulation Wood framing, ccSPF w/ HFC blowing agent and OSB sheathing with 1-inch of XPS exterior insulation Foam ICF blocks, EPS insulation and polypropylene webbing w/ average concrete and rebar


-50000

-40000

-30000

-20000

-10000

0

10000

20000

30000

40000


Wall Cladding

Cedar siding, FSC-certified

Softwood siding, FSC-certified

Clay plaster

Lime/cork plaster

Softwood siding

Cedar siding

Lime/cement stucco

Polypropylene siding

Vinyl siding

Fiber cement siding

Steel siding

Brick, calcium silicate

Brick, clay

Aluminum siding

Brick, cement


-10000

-5000

0

5000

10000

15000

20000

25000


Interior Wall Sheathing

Softwood tongue-and-groove planks, FSC-certified

ReWall (recycled drinking boxes)

Clay plaster on wood lath

Softwood tongue-and-groove planks

Drywall (lightweight)

Magnesium oxide (MgO) board

Foundation Slab Insulation

Expanded glass aggregate

Perlite

Mineral wool board

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) Closed cell spray polyurethane foam (ccSPF) with HFO blowing agent

Foamglass

Closed cell spray polyurethane foam (ccSPF) with HFC blowing agent

Expanded clay (LECA)

Vacuum insulated panels (VIP)

Extruded polystyrene (XPS)


-30000

0

-25000

-20000

-15000

5000

-10000

-5000

10000

0

5000

10000

15000

15000

20000

20000


Windows Wood frame, double glazed

Wood frame, aluminum clad, double glazed

Wood frame, triple glazed

Vinyl frame, double glazed

Fibrex frame, double glazed

Wood frame, aluminum clad, triple glazed

Vinyl frame, triple glazed

Aluminum frame, double glazed

Insulated Sheating Cement-bonded wood wool ReWall (recycled drinking boxes)

Cork insulated sheathing

Gypsum glass mat exterior sheathing

Magnesium oxide (MgO) exterior sheathing


0

-15000

3000

-12000

6000

-9000

-6000

9000

-3000

12000

0

15000

3000

6000


Finish Flooring for Three Floors

Softwood, North American pine, FSC certified

Hardwood, North American maple, FSC-certified

Earthen floor

Softwood, North American pine

Linoleum sheet

Cork plank or tile

Engineered wood

Vinyl sheet flooring

Vinyl tile flooring

Hardwood, North American maple

Ceramic tile

Carpet

Interior Wall Framing

Straw board panels

Wood framing

Steel framing


-10000

-8000

-6000

-4000

-2000

-35000 -30000 -25000 -20000 -15000 -10000 -5000

0

0

2000

5000

4000

6000

8000

10000

10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000


Roof Framing & Sheathing

Straw, chopped

Hempcrete, loose

Cellulose

1x4 wood strapping

Plywood sheathing

Wood trusses

OSB sheathing

Fiberglass

Mineral wool

SIP panel (horizontal, with roof trusses above)

Closed cell spray foam (ccSPF) with HFO blowing agent

Closed cell spray foam (ccSPF) with HFC blowing agent

Vacuum insulated panels (VIPs)

Aerogel blanket


-20000

-10000

0

10000

20000

30000

40000


Roofing Thatch

Cedar shingles, FSC-certified

Cedar shingles

EPDM membrane

Asphalt shingles

Steel panels

Clay tiles

Interior Ceiling for Four Stories

Softwood tongue-and-groove planks, FSC-certified

Cement-bonded wood wool

ReWall (recycled drinking boxes)

Clay plaster on wood lath

Softwood tongue-and-groove planks

Drywall (lightweight)

Magnesium oxide (MgO) board


-15000

-12000

-12000

-10000

-9000

-8000

-6000

-6000

-4000

-3000

-2000

0

0

3000

2000

6000

4000

6000

9000

8000


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