Penn State to host symposium on effects of embodied carbon on the environment


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State will host a virtual international research symposium focused on embodied carbon, which is the term for the greenhouse gas emissions that arise from the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance and disposal of building materials, and its effect on the global environment on Nov. 28-29.

Co-organized by Rahman Azari, associate professor of architecture in the College of Arts and Architecture’s Stuckeman School, the 2022 Embodied Carbon Symposium is intended to bring together scholars from around the world who are passionate about reducing the carbon emissions of built environments.

“Embodied carbon makes up a significant percentage of emissions worldwide so there is an urgency in determining how to measure and mitigate its effects on the environment,” said Azari, who is also the director of the Resource and Energy Efficiency (RE2) Lab in the Hamer Center for Community Design.

Along with Azari, the co-chairs for the event are Alice Moncaster, senior lecturer in general engineering at The Open University in the United Kingtom, and Feja Nygaard Rasmussen, a post-doctoral researcher at Aalborg University in Denmark.

The two-day symposium will feature presentations, panel discussions featuring dozens of international scholars on the topic of embodied carbon research and virtual networking sessions. Keynote speakers for the event are Luke Leung, director of the Sustainability Engineering Studio at Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), and Stephen Richardson, director of the World Green Building Council’s European Regional Network.

“This symposium brings together 26 speakers representing 19 international universities and institutions from 11 countries around the world and creates a platform for the exchange of ideas and research on embodied carbon,” said Azari. “Embodied carbon is gaining significance in the design of carbon-neutral buildings as it is estimated to account for almost half of the emissions of new construction until 2050.”

Azari said participants will hear about embodied carbon research at three scales of materials, buildings and the urban setting, as well as the policies that are implemented in various countries around the world to mitigate these emissions.

The Embodied Carbon Symposium was made possible through support from the Department of Architecture, the RE2 Lab and the Hamer Center for Community Design. To learn more or register for the event, visit the Embodied Carbon Symposium website.