Green Building
Building Science
Sustainable Building

Embodied Carbon in Materials: Real Steps to Drawing Down Carbon in our Buildings

Chris Magwood and 1 other • Last updated 08/2021

4.8/5 (view ratings)
98 students
1 module
1:30 hours
4 assignments

Course description

This course was originally presented at BuildingEnergy Boston 2020, a conference presented by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA)

This session will provide concrete tools and answers on how to draw down carbon in our buildings starting today. We’ll focus on low-rise buildings, where most new construction and renovations happen and which are currently under-represented in embodied-carbon design and analysis. We will present critical construction details such as band joist insulation selections and sloped ceiling retrofits, as well as whole-building design strategies. We’ll present current developments including tools for carbon counting, “green list” material specifications, cooperative supply chains for biogenic materials, and carbon curriculum for industry education. We will fuel hope and build a movement by presenting the very real and immediate carbon drawdown reservoir that exists in constructed or renovated buildings. Session speakers presented the acclaimed keynote at last year’s BuildingEnergy conference.

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Learning Objectives

Participants in this course will upon completion of this course, be able to:

  • Explain what embodied carbon is and how carbon can be stored in building materials
  • Describe at least two case-study examples of stored carbon
  • Describe critical, common design details that incorporate carbon storing materials
  • Access currently-available tools that measure carbon impact and storage of specific materials

Full course outline

Module 1 - Embodied Carbon in Materials: Real Steps to Drawing Down Carbon in our Buildings

  • Embodied Carbon in Materials: Real Steps to Drawing Down Carbon in our Buildings (01:30:50 hours)
  • OPTIONAL: Subscribe to NESEA Communications


Chris Magwood

Executive Director, Endeavour Centre

Chris Magwood is obsessed with helping reverse climate change by making carbon-storing buildings that are also healthy, beautiful, efficient and inspiring. Chris is currently the executive director of The Endeavour Centre, a not-for-profit sustainable building school in Peterborough, Ontario. The school runs a full-time certificate programs – Sustainable Building and... Learn more

Jacob Racusin

Managing Partner, New Frameworks Natural Design/Build

Jacob Deva Racusin is co-owner of New Frameworks Natural Design/Build, offering services in green remodeling, new construction, consultation, and education featuring low-impact high-performance building technologies. Through his work as a designer, builder, consultant, and educator, Jacob is able to merge his passions for fine craft, ecological stewardship, relationship... Learn more


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98 students have taken this course

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by Jacqueline V 01/10/2023

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Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?

This is a free course. Enroll today and get access to all of the materials instantly. The lecture video and other materials are available any time.

How long do I have access to the materials?

For free courses there is no guarantee for how long the course materials will be available.

Is there a certificate of completion?

Certificates of completion are only provided to HeatSpring Membership subscribers. This course has not been approved by any credentialing organizations (NABCEP, AIA, USGBC etc) for Continuing Education Credits (CEUs). This course is for self education purposes only and completion does not indicate a level of professional expertise or credential.

Can I register multiple people?

Yes, this is a free course so you can share this page with other people from your group.

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