Total Carbon Study

Image Courtesy of DPR Construction

Integral Group is pleased to announce the publication of “The Total Carbon Study” with partners StopWaste.Org, Ecological Building Network, Siegel & Strain, and DPR Construction. The white paper can be downloaded on the Ecological Building Network project page:

The research will be presented at Greenbuild Conference & Expo as “Reuse Matters: Doubling Down on Carbon Savings” by Megan White of Integral Group, Larry Strain of Siegel & Strain Architects, and Ted van der Linden of DPR Construction on Thursday, November 19th, 2015 at 1:30 PM EST in Washington, DC.

The study was directly supported by Wes Sullens of StopWaste.Org, Bruce King of Ecological Building Network, and Ted van der Linden of DPR Construction. The research was executed and lead by Megan White and Stet Sanborn of Integral Group and Larry Strain of Siegel & Strain Architects. The team wants to thank all partners that have been involved since the inception of the vision.

Through a whole building lifecycle analysis (LCA) of DPR Construction’s San Francisco Office, the team tracked “total carbon” emissions of the net-positive energy performing retrofitted building. Key findings include but are not limited to:

  •  Saved/avoided carbon of nearly 70% reduction associated with building material supply chain when compared between new construction and significantly reused existing building structure. Therefore: Reuse to the maximum amount possible, and renovate to be net positive whenever conditions allow.
  • The largest savings came from the reuse of high mass materials (concrete structure) and energy-intensive materials (aluminum curtain wall).
  • Carbon emissions evaluated over a 20-year time span, rather than a typically evaluated 50-year life span, better demonstrate the effectiveness of reuse coupled with ZNE performance at reducing CO2e emissions in the near term.
  • ‘Time value of Carbon’ is a critical missing link in the global picture of climate change and signals the need for changes in climate action policy that prioritize deconstruction and reuse over demolition.
  • Carbon emissions associated with construction phase activities – equipment, electricity use, etc. – are still a big unknown and of interest to the team for future studies.
  • Please join us to fill the gaps in the research! Contact Megan White: [email protected], 510-663-2070.