November Climate Crawl
Revel Architecture & Design
The Carbon Question: what do interiors have to do with it?
With global climate change growing in severity and urgency, architects and engineers have been grappling with the embodied carbon of new buildings for years. Because most building foundation and structural systems are such carbon hogs, the impact of an interior fit out for a new building appears as a blip – no need for designers to bother themselves with LCAs or other carbon footprint calculations. Take a deeper look: most of the global building stock already exists, and renovations never stop. New buildings exist for 25 – 50 years. Consider how many interior renovations occur within that lifespan. Interior products, from flooring to furniture, have major impacts on global warming.
Christine Tiffin from Arup joined Suzanne Drake from Revel and the Climate Crawlers to establish a baseline understanding of what exactly embodied carbon is. Christine also shared some case studies of how Arup has used generic material types and general carbon information to drive early decision about materials to create projects that start at lower embodied carbon point. Suzanne then walked the group through some EPDs, highlighting key data points and where to find them. After the presentation, we went into workshop mode, working in small groups to “treasure hunt” for useful nuggets and discussion of how best to use these documents during the product selection phase.