Reuse or Replace? Innovative CARE Tool Paves Pathway for Carbon-Conscious Buildings

Architect Magazine: EcoBlock Design/Construction team member and Siegel & Strain Architects co-founder Larry Strain, FAIA, was recently featured in Architect Magazine for his work on the Carbon Avoided Retrofit Estimator (CARE) Tool.

Renovating an existing structure usually has a much lower carbon footprint than building anew as renovations typically reuse most of the carbon-intensive parts of the building—the foundation, structure, and building envelope. Retrofitting an existing building can also dramatically reduce its operating emissions. Despite this intuitive knowledge, the building industry has lacked the means to easily compare all the variables of embodied and operating carbon over different timeframes for reuse and new-construction scenarios.

The CARE Tool addresses this data gap, empowering policymakers, planners, building owners, developers, heritage building officers, architects, and others who are interested in a pre- or early-design, high-level assessment of the total carbon emissions of building reuse versus replacement.

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