Finding A Path to Decarbonization with Aluminum Extrusions: A Panel Discussion
Earn 1 AIA LU.
For well over a decade, architects and developers have focused on reducing the carbon footprint of their projects. Through a combination of highly energy-efficient building systems, site-generated energy, and creative design, net-zero buildings have become not only feasible but also practical.
But net-zero only addresses operational carbon, and the AEC community is now increasingly focused on embodied carbon – the GHG emissions that result from the manufacture, transport, installation, and eventual disposition of the building materials employed in their projects.
Aluminum is regarded as the third most significant source of embodied carbon in construction. While aluminum’s GHG contribution is significantly less than that of concrete and steel, and while aluminum’s unlimited recyclability greatly reduces its full-cycle environmental impact, it is important to understand actions that can be taken to reduce the embodied carbon of aluminum (particularly extrusions).
This panel discussion will assess aluminum extrusions’ impact on GHG – the source and extent of that impact. More importantly it will explore both strategies that can be employed to reduce the embodied carbon of aluminum (particularly extrusions) and the practical challenges of fully realizing those strategies– both relative to embodied carbon and to operational aspects of the building.
- Identify the key drivers of embodied carbon in aluminum extrusions
- Assess the impact of design decisions that can affect embodied carbon
- Evaluate the challenges in attaining minimal embodied carbon
- Understand the trade-offs between minimizing embodied carbon and reducing operational carbon in building projects