This note, DES 35, originally published in August 2000, was reviewed by Dr Graham Treloar in June 2005. This summary page includes recent updates to the topic since publication.
This Note considers the embodied energy of building materials in the context of greenhouse gas emissions mitigation strategies. Previous practice and research are highlighted where they have the potential to influence design decisions. Latest embodied energy figures are indicated, and the implications of applying these figures to whole buildings are discussed. Several practical examples are given to aid building designers in the selection of building materials for reduced overall life cycle greenhouse gas emissions.