Keeping It Neutral–On Carbon

Both embodied carbon and operational carbon need to be addressed
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By Peter J. Arsenault, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP
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There is no longer any reason for architects and designers to think that carbon-neutral design is for the future – it is critically important that every current project pursues that goal now. This is abundantly true for the embodied carbon found in the materials and products that we specify and incorporate into our designs. It is also true for the operational carbon generated to provide heating, water, and electricity to the building over its full-service life. There are options and opportunities now to create fully carbon-neutral buildings as well as hybrid solutions that leverage a variety of renewable energy sources with some more conventional, but lower carbon, choices. Design professionals have an abundant choice of tools, standards, and information sources to achieve better results now. Those who take advantage of it will achieve more sustainable buildings that meet all other project requirements while providing energy needs with drastically reduced or even zero carbon emissions.

Altogether, these and other design strategies are helping architects to meet the challenges of a post-pandemic world.

Peter J. Arsenault, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP, is a nationally known architect and a prolific author advancing carbon neutrality by design.,


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Originally published in Architectural Record
Originally published in November 2023


Keeping It Neutral–On Carbon
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