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The New Carbon Architecture
Building to Cool the Climate
"Green buildings" that slash energy use and carbon emissions are all the rage, but they aren't enough. The hidden culprit is embodied carbon — the carbon emitted when materials are mined, manufactured, and transported — comprising some 10% of global emissions. With the built environment doubling by 2030, buildings are a carbon juggernaut threatening to overwhelm the climate.
It doesn't have to be this way.
Like never before in history, buildings can become part of the climate solution. With biomimicry and innovation, we can pull huge amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and lock it up as walls, roofs, foundations, and insulation. We can literally make buildings out of the sky with a massive positive impact.
The New Carbon Architecture is a paradigm-shifting tour of the innovations in architecture and construction that are making this happen. Office towers built from advanced wood products; affordable, low-carbon concrete alternatives; plastic cleaned from the oceans and turned into building blocks. We can even grow insulation from mycelium.
A tour de force by the leaders in the field, The New Carbon Architecture will fire the imagination of architects, engineers, builders, policy makers, and everyone else captivated by the possibility of architecture to heal the climate and produce safer, healthier, and more beautiful buildings.
Bruce King has been a structural engineer for 35 years, designing buildings of every size and type around the world. He is the Founder and Director of the Ecological Building Network (EBNet) www.ecobuildnetwork.org and the BuildWell conferences on green building materials. Bruce's decades of research into alternative building systems has led to building code changes in California and globally. He is the author of Buildings of Earth and Straw, Making Better Concrete, and the landmark Design of Straw Bale Buildings. Bruce lives in San Rafael, California.
Truly, what a fantastic, timely, important book."
Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest and Drawdown
I cannot overstate the importance of Bruce King’s book at this critical time. We know that in order to effectively address climate change, we must go beyond building operations and address embodied carbon — phasing out carbon emissions in building materials and construction by mid-century; this book illustrates how."
Edward Mazria, Founder / CEO Architecture 2030
That same carbon atom that’s wreaking havoc in the atmosphere is a building block for many great traditional and new building materials. The New Carbon Architecture shows us how in ways that are both practical and imaginative — truly a resource for our times. — Nadav Malin, President, BuildingGreen, Inc.
Bruce King provides a valuable and unique reference for understanding how one-fifth of all carbon emissions from buildings are currently not being counted or even comprehended. Understanding embodied energy and incorporating it into design thinking and product development is the next frontier for green building practice. I recommend this book as a primer for anyone interested in combating global climate change via building science."
Jerry Yudelson, PE, LEED Fellow “The Godfather of Green” — Wired Magazine Author/Keynote Speaker/Sustainability Consultant
In The New Carbon Architecture, Bruce King delivers an emergent template for designing buildings in a future of climate uncertainty. The climate clock is ticking and we urgently need the ideas King and his colleagues present if we are to ensure comfort, safety, and resiliency in our next-gen built environment. The litany of “no regrets practices” King offers provides both adaptation and mitigation benefits in an industry not well known for offering either."
David A. Schaller, retired EPA climate and sustainability coordinator
Bruce King and his crew of knowledgeable, enthusiastic authors have given us a great starting point for designing and (re-)creating our built environment. This is an important book for the entire design industry to read; from industrial designers and chemists to natural building craftspeople. It gives us all a starting point for the transformation of our infrastructure into one that is truly sustainable and healthy — while reducing the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by simply using them as building blocks instead of emitting them. All this, and they show us that we can have fun doing it!?"
Tim Krahn, P. Eng., Structural Engineer, Building Alternatives Inc