How Landscape Architects are Taking on Embodied Carbon

Mar 5, 2024

Landscape architects have started conversations about embodied carbon. There is a realization that we can no longer ignore the grey parts,” said Stephanie Carlisle, Senior Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum and the University of Washington, during the first in a series of webinars organized by the ASLA Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee.

The grey parts are concretesteel, and other manufactured products in projects. And the conversations happening are laying the foundation for a shift away from using these materials. The landscape architect climate leaders driving these conversations are offering practical ways to decarbonize projects and specify low-carbon materials.

“The built environment now accounts for 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions,” Carlisle said. And with population growth, the “global building stock is expected to double over the next 40 years. That means a new New York City every month.” That also means “embodied carbon is expected to account for more than half of construction emissions from now to 2050.”

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