Buildings account for approximately 40% of the carbon emissions in the world today which includes the embodied carbon of materials and the operational carbon needed to operate them. As part of the efforts to decarbonize buildings, understanding both the embodied carbon and the operational carbon of different building systems is paramount to achieving significant reductions in carbon in the built environment.
While initial studies exploring the embodied carbon of buildings focused on the structure and façade as the primary “consumers” of embodied carbon, emerging research has shown mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems make up a much larger portion of embodied carbon when considering the total lifecycle of the building.
Since no building system is designed is optimized by being considered independent of the other building system (e.g. the building envelope and lighting systems impact the HVAC systems), methods for assessing and reporting the embodied and operational impact of MEP systems is essential to reach a fully decarbonized building.
The MEP 2040 commitment is one way MEP professionals can voluntarily calculate the impact of their designs on both embodied carbon and operational carbon.
This session will discuss multiple ways to calculate embodied carbon, nuances of estimating operational carbon, and identify some of the “low-hanging fruit” in reducing both embodied carbon and operational carbon in buildings
Nathan Kegel | BEMP, LEED AP
Nathan has over 20 years of design and building performance simulation experience using a variety of design and modeling tools and platforms. He has performed design and post-occupancy analysis on hundreds of buildings and dozens of building types all over the world. He has built and led High Performance Design Teams, trained over 1,000 industry professionals on using and applying building performance simulation to the design process, and was the coach and captain of the ASHRAE Lowdown Showdown 2022 winners. Currently, he trains building design professionals how to apply performance simulation and calculations of all types to the building design process. He is ASHRAE BEMP certified, a LEED AP, and a RESET AP and serves as the co-chair of the Data Analysis and Reporting Working Group for MEP 2040.