Embodied Carbon 101: Structure

Just how much-embodied carbon is your project's structure accountable for? And what can be done to reduce the impacts?


Structure accounts for a significant portion of a project’s embodied carbon. In this course, a panel of structural engineers and researchers discusses the positives and negatives, with regard to embodied carbon, of using concrete, steel, and timber each as primary structural materials. Panelists share ways to reduce and measure the embodied carbon impacts of each structure material–-through material makeup and specification, material reduction, material sourcing, and reuse.

Learning objectives

  • Identify the factors that determine the embodied environmental impact of concrete and implement strategies to reduce the impact.
  • Employ holistic design strategies for low embodied carbon or carbon positive structural systems using timber and mass timber.
  • Appraise the embodied carbon impacts of steel structural systems related to steel production, reuse, and reduction.
  • Compare and contrast the environmental impacts of single-material and hybrid structural systems for a project.

This course is part of a series

User rating:
Average: 4.6 (164 votes)
 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • RIBA


  • Suni Dillard Headshot

    Suni Dillard


    Associate | HMFH Architects

    As a Sustainability Leader at HMFH, Suni has quickly established herself as an in-house resource...
  • Jeremy Gregory Headshot

    Jeremy Gregory

    Executive Director | MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub

    Jeremy Gregory is a research scientist in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at...
  • Michael Gryniuk Headshot

    Michael Gryniuk


    Associate | LeMessurier

    Michael is an associate at LeMessurier, a structural engineering firm based in Boston, and serves...
  • Christopher O’Hara Headshot

    Christopher O'Hara


    Founding Principal | Studio NYL

    Chris O'Hara PE, SECB is a Founding Principal of Studio NYL, a Colorado-based structural...