CLF
  July 2020

So You Want to Change the World?
By Kate Simonen, Founding Director, Carbon Leadership Forum

We live in a problematic world, and change can sometimes seem impossible. Frankly, though, it’s inevitable. Positive change can occur when we collaborate for collective impact. The Nehemiah Initiative, featured in this month’s newsletter, reminds us that none of us are merely designing a building or listing materials for procurement or following building codes. We can be inspired by the call to use our talents and expertise to create thriving, equitable, sustainable human communities.

At the Carbon Leadership Forum we’ve been spending time this month thinking about how to engage and act for social justice. Should we be examining social justice through the lens of embodied carbon? Or should we interrogate embodied carbon action through the lens of social justice? We find that asking these questions expands our options for engagement and action in ways both positive and challenging.

If there is a theme for this month’s feature stories and member profiles, it might be the cross-sector collaboration highlighted by The Nehemiah Initiative -- at the local level -- and the upcoming Carbon Positive RESET! events -- on a global scale. There are so many opportunities for individuals to learn and work together to build the future we want.

As Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

Nehemiah Initiative  
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Reducing Carbon, Increasing Social Equity
Site development plan for Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church in Seattle

Bishop Garry Tyson
Pastor of the Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church, Seattle, WA, and President of the General Baptist Convention Northwest

Building Beloved Community...

While Working to Decarbonize Buildings

by Mark Jones with Andrew Himes

The Nehemiah Initiative in Seattle, Washington, is a church-led, community-based partnership designed to preserve and revitalize the Central District through the development of the significant real estate assets of historically Black churches. The initiative seeks to develop affordable mixed-use projects to meet community needs and desires with the goal of retaining, bringing back, and attracting new residents and tenants.

“Decarbonizing buildings is integral to the Nehemiah Initiative’s vision of re-imagined, community-focused development,” said architect Donald King, an Afilliate Professor at the College of Built Environments, University of Washington. “Environmental degradation hits Black communities first, harder and for a longer time. Black communities have less economic and political power and lack the benefits of equity and social justice. Without societal protections, these communities are most likely to be harmed by the negative impacts of carbon on climate change, pollution of residential neighborhoods, workplaces and resulting higher costs for utilities and health care.”

Read More

 

By The Numbers  
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LCA of MEP and TI
This CLF study aimed to establish a preliminary range of likely embodied carbon impacts for MEP and TI components, focusing on commercial office buildings in the Pacific Northwest. This document summarizes the study results, compares findings with other benchmark studies, and discusses their implications.
Material Mass & Impact
Mass estimates ranged from 16 - 23 kg/m2 for MEP and 17 - 43 kg/m2 for TI. Embodied carbon estimates ranged from 40 - 75 kg CO2 e/m2 for MEP and 45 - 135 kg CO2 e/m2 for TI. The chart above presents the low, medium, and high embodied carbon estimates.
Member Impact  
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Stefanie Barrera 
Architectural Staff at SMR Architects, Seattle, WA

Orlando Gibbons
Structural Engineer at Arup, London, England, UK

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Moazamah Rubab
2020 BA in Architectural Design, UW, Seattle

Duncan Cox
Senior Associate, Thornton Tomasetti

Find out what steps our members are doing to address embodied carbon
Learn More
Call to Action  
Carbon-positive

There has never been greater urgency for climate action

by Ed Mazria and Natasha Balwit
Architecture 2030

We are in a race to find solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and sustainable development and energy for all. This crucial moment provides us an extraordinary opportunity to assess and RESET our priorities and actions for the built environment.

Teach-ins were pioneered by anti-war, racial justice, and labor activists generations ago. We now have the opportunity to leverage this format to again reach tens of thousands of our colleagues worldwide allows us to assess and reset our priorities and actions for the built environment—including providing practical solutions for the world’s most vulnerable populations. Such a platform allows us to collaborate to carry out the real work of transformation: creating affordable clean energy and zero-carbon buildings and housing, designing walkable communities with free access to recreational areas, reframing our approach to buildings and infrastructure so that they act as carbon sinks, and supporting forest and biodiversity recovery.

The CarbonPositive Reset! 1.5°C Global Teach-In is scheduled as a full-day event that will be held three times in September, each one targeted to a different global region. Together, we can make the 1.5°C target a reality.

Learn More and Register

This month’s action checklist

Join the online CLF Community – focus groups, regional hubs, information, collaboration, research, resources, exploration, innovation.
Register for Structures & Embodied Carbon - CLF Webinar, August 21 – SE2050 Challenge; initiatives and resources for structural engineers
Register for Rapid Decarbonization Throughout the Building Lifecycle - July 16  -- UC Berkeley presents advanced carbon and life-cycle tools such as Tally and EC3, and also case studies including mass timber construction for new and retrofit projects.

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