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ULI’s Greenprint Center Releases Report on Embodied Carbon

Washington – The Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Greenprint Center for Building Performance has released a new report, “Embodied Carbon in Buildings Materials for Real Estate,” explaining how reducing embodied carbon in the construction process can save developers money and help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Greenprint is a worldwide alliance of leading real estate owners, investors, and strategic partners committed to improving the environmental performance of the global real estate industry. Greenprint and its members are striving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030.

Embodied carbon in buildings, which refers to the emissions associated with the manufacturing, transportation, construction of building materials, as well as building disposal, currently accounts for 11% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

The report details multiple steps that constructors and developers can take to reduce their embodied carbon:

  • Consider low-carbon structural materials, such as green concrete, recycled steel, or mass timber;
  • Reduce the total materials in building design, which can result in lower costs;
  • Repurpose used materials as much as possible, which can add authenticity to a project;
  • Specify lower-carbon materials when offering an RFP, which often comes at no added cost;
  • Calculate the embodied carbon of the materials in the project, to understand the emissions impacts and prepare the building for eventual embodied carbon reporting regulations which may be enacted by local municipalities; and
  • Promote the embodied carbon reductions gain community goodwill and grow market awareness and adoption of reduced embodied carbon buildings.

The report adds to ULI’s ongoing efforts to promote sustainable development practices, and to highlight the Institute’s role in helping to mitigate the effects of climate change that are related to the built environment.

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