Carbon Drawdown Now! Building to Combat the Climate Crisis

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Approved for AIA 1.5 LU/HSW, 1.5 general Living Future Accreditation (LFA) CE credits

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, NESEA teamed up with the R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College to bring attendees this interactive webinar. More than 240 people tuned in for this inspiring presentation focused on embodied carbon, systems thinking, and climate justice, which was given by Jacob Deva Racusin and Ace McArleton of New Frameworks Design & Build.

The energy we spend constructing and operating buildings makes up a big portion of global carbon emissions. But buildings can become part of the climate crisis solution! The speakers covered the major carbon emissions associated with building, how we can use systems thinking and creative material solutions to lower these emissions (or even take them negative!), and how carbon-smart building can advance climate justice.

Our fantastic guest speakers, Jacob Racusin and Ace Ace McArleton from New Frameworks, spent time writing answers to audience questions that we didn’t have time to address during the Q&A during the live broadcast. You can read the answers here and watch a recording of the presentation below.

You can learn more about the R.W. Kern Center by visiting their website, and you can revisit the Center’s list of steps for taking action on embodied carbon here.

View the webinar recording:

Learning Objectives

  • Differentiate between materials that are responsible for net carbon emissions and those that offer net carbon storage, and understand the language and terminology of embodied carbon emissions and storage
  • Identify the key sources of information and tools for calculating embodied carbon emissions and carbon storage in materials, including Environmental Product Declarations, LCA software, carbon emission databases, and biogenic carbon databases
  • Describe and be inspired by examples of buildings that store large amounts of carbon while also meeting all the other aspirational goals of sustainability, such as those outlined in the Living Building Challenge
  • Have insight into the global scale of embodied emissions, and the potential to transform the built environment from a leading climate change problem into a key solution by incorporating new design and material selection practices into their work

Our Mission

NESEA advances sustainability practices in the built environment by cultivating a cross-disciplinary community where practitioners are encouraged to share, collaborate and learn.