What are the Carbon Emission Intensities (in lbsCO2/SF) of various structural assemblies?


Submitted By:

Kelsey Wotila

What tools did you use to create the graphic?
    What kind of graphic is this?

    Comparative Charts

    Primary Inputs:

    Structural Material Systems

    Graphic Information

    What is the graphic showing?

    The comparison of each image within the graphic demonstrates the CEI (shown as relative area) of various components-clockwise from the top, Additional Structure (Columns and Beams), Deck, Podium, and Walls-of structural assemblies. An axonometric drawing within the graph shows individual components combined, and concentric circles match the lbsCO2/SF of that piece of the assembly. Visually, you can immediately read which assembly is most carbon-intensive, and which aspect in particular.

    How did you make the graphic?

    After building a shoebox model in Revit, the components were run through Tally to calculate a lbsCO2/SF quantity for each piece of structure. After totalling each assembly, the varied pieces become a "kit of parts" from which to mix and match. Their individual lbsCO2/SF corresponds to the width of that circle segment, charting and graphically displaying CEI both of the piece and of the assembly.

    What specific investigation questions led to the production of this graphic? List them:

    What impact does a building podium have on its overall embodied carbon footprint? How much carbon emissions does a mass timber structure save? What is the impact of podium on overall building structure?

    How does this graphic fit into the larger design investigations and what did you learn from producing the graphic?

    The graphic explores 5 different design approaches to structure, from an aesthetic standpoint. The study of CEI per structure was meant to aid in the discussion of a mass timber architectural aesthetic, as well as making design decisions integrated with resilience and sustainability.

    What was successful and/or unique about the graphic in how it communicates information?

    The graphic is simple, describes both the architectural decisions (structure type) and their implication to sustainability and climate, quickly and visually. Even without numbers, the "heaviest" or most carbon-intensive, option is apparent.

    What would you have done differently with the graphic if you had more time/fee?

    Integrate whole building lbsC02/SF, make the graphic interactive, and clarify the relationship of the axonometric drawing structural component to its CEI