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A Field Manual for Building Designers

Kuittinen, Matti / Organschi, Alan / Ruff, Andrew


1. Auflage September 2022
272 Seiten, Hardcover

ISBN: 978-1-119-72076-8
John Wiley & Sons

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A comprehensive approach to design that integrates sustainable principles and design strategies for decarbonized construction

Representing an international collaboration between academics and architects in the United States and Europe, Carbon: A Field Manual for Designers and Builders offers professionals in the field an approach to sustainable design that embraces building science principles, life-cycle analysis, and design strategies in carbon neutral construction. The book also contains background information on carbon in construction materials and in the building design process.

This book is filled with illustrative diagrams and drawings that help evaluate the potential impact of design decisions for creating carbon emissions. Written by and for designers and builders, the book includes a compelling pair of case studies that explore carbon-reducing strategies, suggests steps for assessing a building's carbon footprint, and reviews carbon storages and circulation of materials. The guidelines detailed in the book can be adopted, replicated, and deployed to reduce carbon emissions and create more sustainable buildings. This important book:
* Offers an effective approach to sustainable design in construction
* Integrates building science principles, life-cycle analysis, and design strategies in carbon neutral construction
* Describes a methodology for quantifying the flow of carbon in the built environment
* Provides an analysis of carbon-reducing strategies based on a case study of a building designed by the authors

Written for practicing professionals in architecture and construction, Carbon: A Field Guide for Designers and Builders is a must-have resource for professionals who are dedicated to creating sustainable projects.

Preface 2

Chapter 1. Carbon? 10

Our Carbon Challenge 11

Building Elements 12

King Carbon 13

A Global Carbon Budget 14

The Carbon Cycle in Building History 16

Carbon Flows in Building 17

Stanching the Flow 19

Time Management in Carbon Mitigation 21

Re-balancing the planet: agency and opportunity 23

About this book 25

Visualizing carbon flows 26


Life cycle assessment - what´s in it for building designers? 29

An opportunity 29

Carbon measurement for carbon management 30

The fundamental concepts 31

The approach 31

Lifecycle boundaries, scales, and periods 32

Operational and embodied impacts 35

The stages of the building life-cycle 37

Assessment methods 40

Standards 41

The process of life cycle assessment 43

Defining the goal and scope of assessment 43

Setting the system boundaries: What to include? 44

Life cycle scenarios 49

Sensitivity analysis 51

Cut off rules 52

The production stage 53

Materials make a difference 53

Calculating the carbon flows in the production phase 54

Inventory of materials 55

Data for material-related emissions 57

Reducing the carbon footprint in the production stage 61

The construction stage 62

From material components and products to the building system 62

Construction method 65

The use stage 69

Embodied and operational impacts 69

Emissions from the use of energy and water 70

Service life 74

Other emissions (and potential removals) during the use phase 79

End-of-life stage 81

End-of-life scenarios 81

Deconstruction 82

Transport 83

Landfilling and decomposition 83

End-of-waste 84

Closing the loop 85

Results, interpretation and comparison 86

Describing the dominance of life cycle phases 86

Sensitivity analysis 87

Comparing impact estimates 88

Limits of a Lifecycle Approach 89

The streamlined life cycle assessment for buildings 90

Chapter 3: Case Studies in Decarbonization 95

Notes from the field 95

How were the calculations performed? 97

Material inventories 97

Carbon footprints 97

Biogenic carbon neutrality of wood 98

Carbonation of concrete 98

Accumulation of carbon into plants and soil 98

Mitigation potential 99

Common Ground High School 100

Summary of total carbon emissions, storages and circulation potential 105

Common Ground High School: Key figures 107

Materials 109

Site and ground works 110

Foundations and ground floor 112

Structural frame 113

Facades and external decks 115

Roofs 116

Internal dividers 118

Space surfaces 119

Internal fixtures 121

Building system installations 123

Mitigation potential from materials and systems 125

Energy-related emissions 126

Puukuokka Housing Block 130

Puukuokka One apartment building 130

Summary of total carbon emissions, storages and circulation potential 135

Puukuokka One: Key figures 137

Materials 139

Site and ground works 139

Foundations and ground floor 141

Modular units 143

Hallway 145

Facades 147

Roofs 148

Building service installations 150

Mitigation potential from materials and systems 151

Energy 152

Comparison of the case studies 154

What causes the differences? 154

Buildingtypology 157

Physical features and structural solutions 157

Location and weather 158

Regulations 159

Comparison of the emissions 159

Introduction 164

So many things to consider... 165

The building design process 166

A context of externalities: preconditions of the decarbonized design process 168

De-carbonization: challenges and opportunities 170

Points of inflection and influence in the building lifecycle. 170

The decarbonized design process 171

A note of caution: benefits and pitfalls of check-list thinking 171

A low-carbon concord 172

Some basic rules of engagement 173

Phases of decarbonized building design 174

The predesign or project preparation phase 174

Laying the groundwork for decarbonized building design (especially for developers and clients) 175

Building context 181

Programming a low-carbon building 182

Anticipating the lifespan of a building 183

The conceptual or schematic design phase 185

Right-sizing the building 186

Low-carbon siting 186

Shape matters 187

Volumetric efficiency 187

Volumetric Simplicity 188

Optimizing daylight 188

Operational energy consumption (and generation) 189

Tectonics and materiality 190

Inspiring and promoting good behavior 191

The design development phase 191

Decarbonizing building material 192

Decarbonizing the production stage: Material priorities 192

Material classes and their carbon consequences 194

The decarbonized building assembly 200

Decarbonizing the use stage: energy consumption, airtightness, and thermal performance 201

Detailing for disassembly in the building's end-of-life stage 202

The later design phases: contract documentation, bidding and negotiation, and construction administration 206

What happens after construction? (one more design phase to consider) 208

Principles of Decarbonized Design 209

1. Simplify 209

2. Reduce weight 210

3. Minimize disturbance 210

4. Optimize ecosystem services 211

5. Re-use 211

6. Design for Durability and then Reversibility 212

7. Keep track of time and distance 212

8. Share 214

9. Store Carbon 214

10. Decouple 215

Understanding design agency: shifting roles and responsibilities 216

CHAPTER 5: Re-Forming the Anthropocene 219

5.1 Beyond sustainable 219

Making more than measurements 219

Thinking outside the building lifecycle 220

Making a carbon handprint 225

Re-forming the Anthropocene 228

Decoupling 229

Simplification 231

A new role for architecture 235

A new role for design and building education 238

Inspiration and influence 240

Anthropocene re-formed 241

References 243

Glossary 252

Acknowledgements 258
Matti Kuittinenis an architect and professor of resource-efficient construction at Aalto University, Finland. As a policymaker, he has been developing whole life carbon assessment methods in Finland and the EU.

Alan Organschi is a design principal and a partner at Gray Organschi Architecture, in New Haven, CT and a senior member of the design and technology faculty of the Yale School of Architecture. He currently serves as the Director of the Innovation Lab of the global initiative Bauhaus Earth in Berlin, Germany.

Andrew Ruff is the Research Coordinator of the Timber City Research Initiative, a Design Director at Gray Organschi Architecture, and a Visiting Critic at the Yale School of Architecture.