[Sbse] embodied energy savings potential

Bill Bordass bill at bordass.com
Sat Apr 10 08:37:03 PDT 2021

You might like this 3D printed adobe too.

With good wishes


On 10 Apr 2021, at 16:04, Susan Roaf <s.roaf at btinternet.com<mailto:s.roaf at btinternet.com>> wrote:

Have you all seen the great brick developed by one of my ex-students - Sam Chapman and Gabi Madero from Heriot Watt - Way To Go.

https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giiTe6LzQDk__;!!JYXjzlvb!3N8Aj-jWr9YCc0ebcxOphJASGxSKSsirHqKgqxPQ2iDPfAiRKm2J02vBRf5iyw$ <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giiTe6LzQDk__;!!JYXjzlvb!3CAxr3OAz5TPSYICo1llee8nySkfiFOIxlkUqviwQ8wjQ8uJBCy_P2FWEtLYHw$>

By the way I co-chaired two sessions on Living in the Arctic - at the Arctic Science Summit last month - and a great presentation on the collapsing brick buildings in Northern Russia with perma-frost melt - loads of building rubble there!


------ Original Message ------
From: "Derek Clements-Croome" <d.j.clements-croome at reading.ac.uk<mailto:d.j.clements-croome at reading.ac.uk>>
To: "Larry Strain" <lstrain at siegelstrain.com<mailto:lstrain at siegelstrain.com>>; "Norbert Lechner" <lechnnm at auburn.edu<mailto:lechnnm at auburn.edu>>
Cc: "sbse" <sbse at uidaho.edu<mailto:sbse at uidaho.edu>>
Sent: Tuesday, 10 Sep, 19 At 09:55
Subject: Re: [Sbse] embodied energy savings potential

In addition to Larry’s excellent summary I would add__

  *   Concrete, bricks and steel have relatively high levels of embodied energy compared with timber for example. But ways are being developed to decrease this by studying the basic chemical processes and using innovative approaches to modify the chemical interactions. Another approach is to embed other substances or digital devices within them.

Advancements in modifying traditional materials as well as developing new ones are described in the book Nanotechnology in eco-efficient construction 2019 edited by Pacheo-Torgal et al., (Woodhead Publishing). It describes how nano-technology is making cement, concrete, asphalt, steel, thermal insulation, windows and paints more sustainable in use. Materials are evolving for example with embedded graphene which will give control over thermal and electrical properties besides adding strength to materials.

  *   The use of waste materials to give low energy composites as Larry points out is important too. Bee bricks are one example another is the mushroom tower by David Benjamin at Living Architects in New York. Bee bricks made here in UK use composites and perforations on the face of the brick are made so that solitary bees can leave their eggs---another way of how sustainable architecture can connect with nature .
From: SBSE <sbse-bounces at uidaho.edu<mailto:sbse-bounces at uidaho.edu>> On Behalf Of Larry Strain
Sent: 10 September 2019 05:52
To: Norbert Lechner <lechnnm at auburn.edu<mailto:lechnnm at auburn.edu>>
Cc: sbse <sbse at uidaho.edu<mailto:sbse at uidaho.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Sbse] embodied energy savings potential
Based on our own experience it is pretty easy easy to reduce embodied emissions by 30% using currently available materials at no extra cost. That’s not good enough.
It is possible to build carbon neutral buildings or even carbon sequestering buildings by using carbon sequestering materials such as agricultural waste products - straw, hemp, etc, and wood (although wood can be carbon negative or carbon positive depending of forestry practices) and even materials made from sequestered emissions - Blue Planet concrete, and some other cool products in development. Many of these materials are typically more appropriate for smaller scale buildings. All are available but not all are common.
For more about these materials see the New Carbon Architecture by Bruce King (and others), New Society Publishers 2017
If you can’t get to zero embodied emissions there are good, real offset programs to make up the difference.
Reusing buildings may be a more realistic approach, Reuse results in much lower embodied carbon emissions than new construction (typically 60 - 80% less), particularly when you can reuse the foundation and structure which represent the majority of embodied emissions in most buildings. But the key to reusing existing buildings is to couple it with deep energy upgrades, thereby reducing existing operating emissions at the same time. I would modify Carl’s excellent statement to: The greenest building is the one that already exists - and needs to be retrofitted to be very efficient, or ZNE.
Reuse + energy upgrades avoid future embodied emissions (compared to new construction) and reduce current operating emissions.
Architecture 2030 estimates that 80% of the emissions from new buildings between now and 2030 will be embodied emissions. But keep in mind that global annual operating emissions from existing buildings are two and a half times greater than global annual embodied emissions -28% for operating vs 11% for embodied.
For new buildings we should be focused on embodied carbon and for existing buildings we should be focused on operating carbon.
See my chapter in the New Carbon Architecture -" Rebuild: What You Build Matters, What You Don’t Build Matters More"
Larry Strain, FAIA LEED AP

S I E G E L & S T R A I N A r c h i t e c t s
6201 Doyle Street, Emeryville, CA 94608
510.547.8092 x103 fax 510.547.2604
(Enter on 62nd Street)
lstrain at siegelstrain.com<mailto:lstrain at siegelstrain.com> https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.siegelstrain.com__;!!JYXjzlvb!3N8Aj-jWr9YCc0ebcxOphJASGxSKSsirHqKgqxPQ2iDPfAiRKm2J02tygbhyJg$ <https://urldefense.com/v3/__http:/www.siegelstrain.com__;!MhfXWAnT7Wk!0VHMbyrDhNFT4XC5-tfH51gQ25lBHxSLYNnzWIM8NGsH4XtVLWfiKv-77ECllA$>
On Sep 9, 2019, at 8:46 PM, Norbert Lechner <lechnnm at auburn.edu<mailto:lechnnm at auburn.edu>> wrote:
Does anyone know how much embodied energy can be reduced in buildings? Do we know what the real world limit is? We have a good idea of how much the operating energy can be reduced, but is there some documented estimates of what is possible in the reduction of embodied energy in different building types? When I think about this problem, Carl Elefante's words come to mind: " The greenest building is the one that already exists". If the possiblereduction of embodied energy in buildings is modest, we should know that.
Norbert Lechner, Prof. Emeritus & Architect
Auburn University
311 Oakland Lane
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
334-707-7963 cell
lechnnm at auburn.edu<mailto:lechnnm at auburn.edu>
Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design
Methods for Architects, 4 ed., 2015
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