EMBODIED CARBON IN BUILDINGS: CUTTING EDGE RESEARCH, TOOLS AND POLICIES TO QUANTIFY AND REDUCE EMBODIED CARBON AS A PIECE OF SOLVING THE CLIMATE IMPERATIVE
Michelle Lambert LEED AP, ENV SP, CPHC
Founder and Principal
We have known for a long time now that buildings are a significant contributor to climate change, and that as professionals in this field, we have an imperative to do something about it. For the last decade or so, the primary data and statistics around building energy and its impact on climate change have been around operational energy, the energy that buildings use to heat, cool and electrify their spaces. The industry conversation has largely been focused on reducing operational energy and thereby operational carbon. But just in the last few years, there has been new research and a new realization that embodied energy and the resulting embodied carbon in the building materials is also a significant piece of the pie.
As design and engineering professionals, we are now widening our lens to account for the energy and embodied carbon within the entire process of creating buildings, every step of the way. How can we learn more about the life cycle of our projects and how can we reduce their impacts on climate change? What tools are available and what policies are being enacted to address this? And how quickly must we act to reverse the climate impacts from our built environment?
Michelle Lambert is an architect and a green building consultant with accreditations in LEED, Passive House and Envision, as well as an educator with nineteen years of sustainable design experience in both practice and teaching. After having led the sustainability efforts at several of Boston’s large architecture and design firms and working on over 45 LEED projects, she took the leap and started her own firm in 2017. Lambert Sustainability is an innovative sustainable design consulting firm based in the Boston area. It provides project management services for projects pursuing LEED Certification as well as other green building rating systems. Michelle loves sharing her knowledge and passion for sustainability and has taught at Carnegie Mellon, the BAC and currently teaches in the Tufts’ Graduate program for Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. Lambert Sustainability is a Certified Massachusetts Woman Owned Business (WBE).