16 jan 20 | Architect Magazine

With Housing’s Carbon Footprint, Density Matters

A new e-book from Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture analyzes the embodied carbon and other attributes of nine housing types to uncover ideal residential densities—those that improve quality of life while minimizing their environmental impact.

In Residensity: A Carbon Analysis of Residential Typologies, the team at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) models the embodied carbon for nine different housing typologies and for the infrastructure needed to support each. The study also looks at annual operational carbon, and extrapolates 40 years of building use at current standards. The AS+GG model anticipates energy infrastructure improvements and efficiencies over the next four decades that would result in a reduced operational carbon expenditure. In any case, the embodied carbon cost of the buildings and related infrastructure remains fixed—regardless of new efficiencies—highlighting how important the initial embodied carbon expenditure is to a building’s life-cycle carbon burden.

For diagrams and analysis, check out the full article HERE