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Feature Calculating and assessing embodied energy
of construction materials
By Francesca Desmarais, Marion Lawson, LEED AP, and Thaddeus Owen, LEED AP
S peciﬁers, architects, engineers, and contractors
use numerous criteria when choosing materials
and products for a building. Questions they
must consider include:
• Does the product perform well?
• Does the product match the project esthetics? and
• Does the product ﬁt the budget?
Energy consumption and carbon footprint are
also key product attributes. Reducing energy and
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from building
construction and operations are critical steps the
84 October 2013
construction industry can take to reduce the risks of
Each building product consumes energy throughout
its lifecycle. These different lifecycle stages include:
• raw material extraction;
• raw material transport;
• product manufacture;
• product transport and distribution;
• maintenance and use; and
• product disposal or recycling.
Co nstruction Canada
10/8/13 11:46 AM