Sweco seminars: embodied and whole life carbon

As part of our series of seminars led by the Environmental Action Group, Sweco shared an in-depth look at embodied and whole life carbon. The embodied carbon of a building is currently responsible for around half of its whole life carbon emissions and is still largely unregulated.

Matthew Mapp set out an introduction to current industry best practice, leading with a review of the LETI Embodied Carbon Target Alignment. He went on to outline the key studies and design decisions taken on our latest project, Gateway West – a commercial building for Stanhope in White City - to reduce the embodied carbon associated with the superstructure and facades. Gateway West is one of the first in a series of built projects where we have worked closely with a Sustainability Specialist to calculate and significantly reduce the buildings’ embodied carbon emissions.

Sweco concluded by outlining the necessity for re-use and retrofit in the built environment. Choosing to adapt and intelligently re-purpose an existing building is one of the most significant project decisions we can make to minimise embodied emissions. Where a brief or site unequivocally precludes retrofit, we will be looking to design-in flexibility from the outset - to support longevity and alternative future uses.