Embodied Carbon 101: Basic literacy

Build and refine your literacy in embodied carbon.


This course features an expert panel of AEC practitioners and researchers who define the embodied carbon issue and key terms and concepts—including health and sustainability implications. They provide information on data resources and rating systems available to support and execute embodied carbon decisions during design, specification, and construction. The panel also discusses how information on the embodied carbon and environmental impacts of building materials and products can be incorporated into design decisions and influence project outcomes. They use case studies to illustrate different life cycle assessment (LCA) types, structural systems, and implementation of embodied carbon design decisions through construction.

Learning objectives

  • Define key sustainability terms including embodied carbon (EC), life cycle assessment (LCA), and environmental product declaration (EPD) and evaluate the role EC, LCA, and EPDs can play in different fields (i.e. architecture, engineering, and construction to reduce embodied environmental impacts of the building industry.
  • Identify and implement resources available with data on embodied carbon of building materials in order to reduce a project’s total embodied carbon.
  • Examine how the selection of materials for a building’s primary structural systems, building envelope and interior finishes affects the amounts of embodied carbon in buildings.
  • Carry out embodied carbon design decisions through specifications, procurement, and construction.

This course is part of a series

User rating:
Average: 4.4 (328 votes)
 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • RIBA


  • Stephanie Carlisle Headshot

    Stephanie Carlisle

    Senior Researcher | Carbon Leadership Forum

    Stephanie’s work investigates the interaction between the natural and constructed environment,...
  • Loir Ferriss Headshot

    Lori Ferriss

    AIA, PE

    Director of Sustainability and Climate Action | Goody Clancy

    Lori Ferriss is a leader in sustainable stewardship for the built environment. As Goody Clancy’s...
  • Stacy Smedley Headshot

    Stacy Smedley

    Executive Director | Building Transparency / Director of Sustainability | SKANSKA USA

    Stacy has a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of Washington, and 15 years in the...
  • Frances Yang Headshot

    Frances Yang


    Sustainable Structures & Materials Specialist | Arup

    Frances specializes in how environmentally preferable and healthier materials contribute to whole-...