After years of the AEC industry working towards eliminating the operation carbon of buildings, the focus has started to shift to reducing embodied carbon associated with the building materials. As the carbon emissions related to structural materials can amount to up to 80% of a building’s total embodied carbon footprint, structural engineers will have a large role to play in making these reductions.
KPFF was a signatory of the Carbon Leadership Forum’s 2018 Structural Engineers 2050 Challenge and are now a signatory of Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Structural Engineers 2050 (SE 2050) Commitment Program which states that:
“All structural engineers shall understand, reduce and ultimately eliminated embodied carbon in their projects by 2050.”
The goal of SE 2050 is ambitious, and SEI recognizes “the needs for coordinated action across our profession to achieve the globally stated goal of net zero carbon by 2050.” Since this is the first year of the SE 2050 Commitment, the program is challenging structural engineers to educate themselves, our clients and the public in embodied carbon in building materials and drive the momentum to have new technology developed to help us reach our 2050 net zero goal. We, at KPFF, are dedicated to being a part of the solution.
As citizens of this planet, many of us are doing our best to reduce our personal carbon footprint to help combat climate change, and as practicing structural engineers, reducing embodied carbon in our designs is one of the biggest impacts we can make.
The KPFF 2022 Embodied Carbon Action Plan is central to our commitment to SE 2050 and to the path to net zero embodied carbon structures. View in its entirety below.