A couple of CREW SF members put the vast CREW Network to good use by connecting with members from two other CREW chapters at the Greenbuild Conference in Atlanta, GA. Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to sharing the latest trends and best practices around green building with nearly 20,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors. This year, there were a number of themes running through the content from embodied carbon, to storytelling, to net-zero energy. This was accompanied by some impressive speakers such as the opening keynote from President Barack Obama, who noted that in the current state of the climate we need to act in accordance with our values. One of the strongest takeaways from the conference is that green building needs to be framed as a social justice issue. All life is reliant on our planet and impacted by our environment, we have knowledge and skills to build more sustainably for our future and we need to act now.
-Kena David, CREW SF
The green building industry has long focused on means and methods of reducing operational carbon, carbon emitted throughout the use of a building, as a strategy for greener building. At this year’s Green Build in Atlanta they announced a new carbon reduction focus, embodied carbon. By definition embodied carbon is the carbon produced in a full life cycle of a product from harvesting of the raw materials, through production, to construction on site and the eventual end life of that material. With the release of a new EC3 tool developed from big name firms Skanska, Webcor, Gensler, Perkins & Will and the Carbon Leadership Forum, design teams are now able to have a tool, for free, to calculate the embodied carbon on any project. The EC3 tool can help teams with benchmarking and assessment to compare, for example, a concrete structure to mass timber, and find carbon reductions. According to Architecture 2030, embodied carbon may account for half of all emissions from new buildings through 2050, and roughly three-quarters through 2030. Given this, a simple change here could create significant improvements on the overall environmental impact of a building. Mass timber, the hot new green building material of choice, is a manufactured lumber that comes in many forms including cross-laminated, nail-laminated, dowel-laminated timbers, and mass plywood panels. Wood as a natural source is more sustainable, provided that sustainably-harvested wood, such as FSC certified, is supplied from properly maintained forests. With the potential for great environmental benefits, imminent code changes, increasing supply, and rising costs of other building materials like steel and concrete, mass timber is likely to become a preferred building material across the country and certainly in the Bay Area. In fact, the first mass timber building ever in San Francisco, 1 De Haro, just kicked off construction Fall 2019 and should be complete in 2020!
-Katelyn Surprenant, CREW SF
Pictured from left to right:
- BCCI Construction Company - CREW SF
- Straughan Environmental - CREW Baltimore
- Ware Malcomb - CREW NJ
- DCI Engineers - CREW SF
- Budova Engineering - CREW Baltimore
- Ensight Consulting - CREW Baltimore
Interested in making connections like these within the CREW network? https://crewbiz.crewnetwork.org/home