Reducing Embodied Carbon in the Built Environment: A Research Agenda

Pomponi, F and Moncaster, Alice (2016). Reducing Embodied Carbon in the Built Environment: A Research Agenda. In: International Conference on Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society, 14-15 Sep 2016, Leeds Beckett University, UK.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.7354

Abstract

In spite of significant global efforts, the International Energy Agency suggests that buildings-related emissions are on track to double by 2050. Whilst operational energy efficiency continues to receive significant attention by researchers, a less well-researched area is the assessment of embodied carbon in the built environment in order to understand where the greatest opportunities for its mitigation and reduction lie. This paper reports on available mitigation strategies to tackle embodied carbon identified through a systematic review of the available academic evidence. It also investigates the scope and scale of current academic investigations to highlight where significant gaps are for impactful further research on the topic. In total, 17 mitigation strategies have been identified from within the existing literature which have been discussed individually. Results reveal that a one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to yield beneficial results and future research should be diverse in breadth and scope, locally accurate, and significantly interdisciplinary.

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