July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
A building structure’s ecological impact due to the embodied carbon in the materials chosen has become an increasingly prominent factor in the selection of building structural systems. Understanding the relative embodied carbon of different structural systems allows students to make informed decisions in the design process that better achieve the increasingly demanding goal of producing sustainable architecture. The inclusion of this topic in academia has the benefit of giving students experience with energy assessment tools that could be utilized in the profession upon their graduation.
This paper presents an overview of and assesses the relative utility of four emerging life cycle assessment tools (ATHENA, EC3, TALLY, and THERM) for comparing the carbon impact of timber, steel, and concrete as a building’s structural systems. An exploration will be included on how these tools can be incorporated into the classroom to allow students to arrive at a decision for the building structural system based on the total embodied carbon of the design. To round-out its assessment, the paper includes a literature search for similar research being incorporated into undergraduate education.
A case study that will be included as part of this research is the work of a student in our Graduate Certificate Program. This student utilized a section of an existing project designed in the capstone studio as a baseline design for each of the four assessment tools, altering only structural materials in each design iteration. The paper’s conclusions and recommendations derive largely from the results of this student’s project.
Phillips, J. J., & Spector, T. E., & Mansy, K., & Homer, J. M., & Crawford, W. (2021, July), Structural System Selection for a Building Design Based on Energy Impact Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://strategy.asee.org/37738
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