Builders and developers are increasingly looking to reduce carbon emissions generated during the concrete construction process, according to a new analysis from Dodge Construction Network.

Dodge data shows that 81% of structural engineers and 69% of contractors working with concrete are keeping tabs on the embodied carbon on their projects, and about one third are  ”actively” reducing it.

“Embodied carbon involves the entire carbon footprint of a building or construction project, which includes not only the emissions created in building and operating it, but the emissions generated by the production and transportation of the materials used to construct it,” the report notes. “Measuring embodied carbon requires transparency across the supply chain, and is challenging, so reducing it will likely require new, innovative approaches to building materials.”

More than half (58%) of the architects, contractors, and engineers included int he Dodge study report that they are  tracking embodied carbon on their projects. However, “the findings differ dramatically by type of company,” the survey notes, with 81% of engineers, 69% of contractors and only 24% of architects tracking embodied carbon.

But building owners are driving change in that regard: according to the survey, 94% of engineers and contractors report that clients are requesting reductions of embodied carbon on projects, a development likely largely attributable to the uptick in ESG disclosures on financial ratings. More than half (56%) of engineers and contractors accounted for the in the Dodge survey say they work with owners with ESG commitments, with 73% reporting an increase in the number of owners with these commitments in the past year alone.

The commitment of building owners to green building practices, including carbon reduction in concrete construction, will be critical to move the needle at an industry-wide level.

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Lynn Pollack

 

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