Webinar to explore sustainability, carbon emissions of buildings

April 14, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Global Building Network will hold a webinar on sustainable buildings, titled “Operational Carbon vs. Embodied Carbon in Buildings,” from 4 to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 19. Registration is required.

The speaker, Rahman Azari, is an associate professor of architecture in the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture and a co-funded faculty member of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment. His work focuses on lifecycle environmental impacts of built environments, innovative building materials for energy production and carbon sequestration, building and urban energy and carbon efficiency, and data-driven models for urban sustainability.

According to Azari, operational carbon is the carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gas emissions) emitted due to operation of buildings, such as heating, cooling and lighting. Embodied carbon is the carbon load due to the manufacturing of building materials, as well as when constructing, maintaining and demolishing buildings.

“High-performance buildings reduce both operational and embodied carbon emissions,” Azari said. “They use thick layers of insulation, multiple-pane windows, air-tight building envelopes, and efficient building systems to decrease the carbon emitted to operate the building.”

He added that high-performance buildings also lead to lower embodied carbon emissions.

“Indeed, they are designed to use building materials and components that are locally and regionally produced, that have high recycled content, and that are manufactured using lesser carbon emissions,” Azari said.

Globally, buildings account for about 40% of greenhouse gas emissions every year, and high-performance buildings are designed to lessen the primary energy use and carbon emissions of the construction industry, according to Azari.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 14, 2021