Embodied Carbon & Life Cycle Assessment in Traditional & Heritage Buildings

Date Thursday, February 25, 12pm ET

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The live course will explore energy efficiency in traditional and heritage buildings and discuss emerging research on climate change and its effect on heritage buildings. The event will draw from a study commissioned by several governments on the effects climate change will have on our built environment and the built environments a role in mitigating climate change. Research findings such as the Central European Standard in “Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings” (CEN 16833:2017) – Climate Change Adaptation Sectoral Plan for Built & Archaeological Heritage and more recently “Understanding Carbon in the Built Environment” has led to a great understanding of the importance of our built environment and the role our existing building stock can play and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. Most international directives have concentrated on the reduction and/or greening of “Operational Energy” yet these study findings show that “Embodied Carbon” and the reduction in the use of carbon-intensive products in construction is the best way to deliver government targets of carbon reduction in the Paris Agreement. The presentation will feature a number of international case studies, will go through the process to understand carbon in the built environment, and will explain the study results, The presentation will also suggest ways to drive this thesis and will highlight the need to a) have a dedicated LCA Tool for existing buildings and b) propose a few policies that should be considered. It will stimulate discussion and debate about adaptive reuse and the need to eliminate maladaptation of our existing building stock.

Learning objectives

  • Compare the energy performance of traditional and heritage buildings against the impact of energy upgrades.
  • Recognize how the use of inappropriate insulations and other carbon-intensive materials are detrimental to older buildings causing accelerated decay of historic fabric and health risks to occupants.
  • Discuss data driven approaches for sensitive and well thought out adaptive reuse of existing buildings to contribute to lower CO2 emissions.
  • Articulate the need for a life cycle analysis designed specifically for existing buildings, and the importance of carbon calculating.
  • Advocate for codes and standards that include embodied carbon and life cycle carbon calculation, rather than solely focusing on operational carbon.


Can't attend live? This session will be available on-demand.

User rating:
Average: 4.6 (43 votes)
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1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • RIBA


  • Peter Cox

    Peter A. Cox

    Managing Director 

    Peter has a primary degree in chemical engineering, he has worked in the analysis of decay of...