In Residensity: A Carbon Analysis of Residential Typologies, the team at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) models the embodied carbon for nine different housing typologies and for the infrastructure needed to support each. The study also looks at annual operational carbon, and extrapolates 40 years of building use at current standards. The AS+GG model anticipates energy infrastructure improvements and efficiencies over the next four decades that would result in a reduced operational carbon expenditure. In any case, the embodied carbon cost of the buildings and related infrastructure remains fixed—regardless of new efficiencies—highlighting how important the initial embodied carbon expenditure is to a building’s life-cycle carbon burden.
For more from Gordon Gill, FAIA, on how the building sector can meet critical carbon reduction targets now, and over the next 20 years, attend the CarbonPositive’20 Conference and Expo, March 2–4 in Los Angeles.