The Climate Impact of Retrofits: Embodied and Operational Emissions in Weatherization
As buildings become part of the climate change solution, more building professionals and their customers want to know how they can reduce carbon emissions in home retrofits. The presenters conducted a research study to answer this question by assessing the net carbon impact of insulation and air sealing upgrades when accounting for both embodied carbon emissions of materials and operational carbon reductions associated with weatherization upgrades. This research, built off a study the previous year focused specifically on the embodied carbon emissions of weatherization, helps answer critical questions about the climate impacts of weatherization practices. In this presentation, we will present the results of the study and explore implications for best practices in the weatherization field.
- Define and differentiate between embodied and operational carbon emissions
- Quantify the relative scales of embodied and operational carbon emissions in residential weatherization
- Analyze the time frame in which embodied and operational carbon emissions occur in residential weatherization, and how this applies to developing retrofit strategies
- Identify different approaches for a variety of specific retrofit measures, and their relative impact on embodied and operational carbon emissions