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Photo © Christopher Barrett Photography 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 CC_Oct13.indd 84 construction industry can take to reduce the risks of climate change. 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; • installation; • maintenance and use; and • product disposal or recycling. Co nstruction Canada 10/8/13 11:46 AM