Embodied Carbon Intensity Diagrams

Included on this page are embodied carbon intensity diagrams for some typical framing schemes for various building use types. The diagrams only account for floor framing of interior bays and do not account for vertical elements such as columns or bearing walls.  The main intent of these diagrams is educational and to provide a range of embodied carbon values unique to the bay geometry chosen to inform the practicing structural engineer of embodied carbon intensity for framing schemes considered typical.  These could also be used as a way to back check your own assessments or even as a general guide for early design embodied carbon estimates.

Multiple structural engineers and life-cycle assessment professionals were engaged to independently design and assess each framing bay.  The diagrams show a range of structural material quantities and embodied carbon impacts.  The life-cycle assessment values were calculated using three commercially available life-cycle assessment software packages.  Refer to the embodied carbon intensity diagram primer for additional information.

Embodied Carbon Intensity Diagram Primer

The primer will include a detailed description of the design and assessment process as well as all assumptions and design criteria.  Check back soon for updates.

Floor Framing Schemes

Embodied Carbon Summary

The plot below includes a summary of embodied carbon impacts for each of the framing schemes shown above.

Summary of embodied carbon of framing schemes


The following individuals made substantial contributions to the embodied carbon intensity diagrams.

Brian McSweeney, TLC Engineering Solutions

Dirk Kestner, Walter P. Moore

Kelsey Price, Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Matt Kantner, EQUILIBRIUM Consulting Inc.

Megan Stringer, Holmes Structures

Russ Miller-Johnson, Engineering Ventures

Jay Arehart, University of Colorado Boulder

Ruthwik Chepuri, Walter P Moore

Victoria Herrero-Garcia, Ambient Energy

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