While some carbon emissions from building operations can be reduced over time through energy efficiencies and renewable energy sources, this addresses only one part of the problem. Once a building is completed, the carbon embedded in the building materials, products, and systems adds up, too. That’s right: A product’s material extraction, manufacturing, and even transport contribute staggering levels of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.
Today, new tools developed by leading think tanks, environmental scientists, architects, and designers are available to help create higher-performing environments. Here’s what you need to know about them—and how they can make carbon reduction quicker, easier, and cheaper.