Transforming Existing Buildings into Climate Assets: Leveraging low embodied carbon and carbon-storing materials in building retrofits to reduce building emissions.

27 Sep 2023Greenbuild 2023
Purchase access to view full content
Transforming Existing Buildings into Climate Assets: Leveraging low embodied carbon and carbon-storing materials in building retrofits to reduce building emissions.

Transforming Existing Buildings into Climate Assets: Leveraging low embodied carbon and carbon-storing materials in building retrofits to reduce building emissions.

27 Sep 2023Greenbuild 2023
About the speakers
  • Chris Magwood
    Chris Magwood
    Manager at RMMI
    Chris Magwood is obsessed with helping reverse climate change by making carbon-storing buildings that are also healthy, beautiful, efficient and inspiring and assisting others to do the same. In 2022, Chris joined the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Embodied Carbon initiative within RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings team and works to decarbonize the low-rise residential sector. In 2019, he helped to establish Builders for Climate Action, and has been leading development of the BEAM carbon estimator tool for low- rise construction. He is working closely with many levels of government to develop embodied carbon benchmarks and regulatory programs, and helping developers and builders figure out how to reverse climate change with their buildings. From 2011-2022, Chris was a director and teacher at The Endeavour Centre, a not-for-profit sustainable building school. Prior to that, he ran a design/build firm specializing in healthy, energy efficiency new homes. Chris has authored seven books on sustainable building. His new book, Building Beyond Zero: New Ideas for Carbon-Smart Architecture, is co- authored with Bruce King and published by Island Press.
  • Eva Rosenbloom
    Eva Rosenbloom
    Senior Associate at RMI
    Eva Rosenbloom manages the REALIZE-MA initiative: RMI’s deep energy retrofit accelerator for MA-based affordable multifamily housing within its Carbon-Free Buildings program. Actively working with designers, building owners, manufacturers, local agencies, and engineers, she facilitates and supports decarbonization of existing buildings in MA. A registered architect with a graduate degree in Sustainability, Eva has over twenty years of experience in many roles within the built environment: in design and project management of built projects, in the advancement of change management leadership within industry practices, and in building environmental accounting. A creative problem solver driven by sustainability, her focus has always been on the environment and the personal impact of architecture. With an emphasis on systems thinking, regenerative design, resilience strategies, and life-cycle benefit analysis, Eva is an active change agent working to advance the process of design and construction.

Key takeaways

Comprehend the relationship between embodied carbon and operating carbon emissions in building retrofits and utilize tools to calculate the embodied carbon associated with various deep energy retrofit exterior insulation assemblies.

Amortize the upfront embodied carbon emissions costs associated with a deep energy retrofit with the anticipated operating carbon emissions savings.

Identify key components in exterior assemblies that benefit from the strategic use of low-embodied carbon materials and carbon storing materials.

Discuss policies and market development which support investment in low embodied carbon and carbon storing materials and deep energy retrofit solutions.