How Embodied Carbon Reductions in Building Design Means Long-term Cost Savings

18 Jan 2021

How Embodied Carbon Reductions in Building Design Means Long-term Cost Savings

For a number of years now, building design professionals and M & E consulting engineers have had their eyes fixed firmly on creating sustainable buildings. However, this is just part of the picture when it comes to tackling climate change, as by the time a building is operational, anywhere between 30-70% of its entire carbon output has already been produced.

This is because of the issue of embodied carbon, which relates to the carbon that’s created during the manufacturing of building materials and products such as steel, concrete and glass. The good news is that by focusing on this aspect, significant long-term operational savings can be made.

Major Energy Saving Measures

Globally the buildings and construction sector account for 39% of energy related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, 11% of these CO2 emissions resulted from manufacturing building materials and products such as steel, cement and glass. 

A significant benefit of tackling embodied carbon is that by doing so efficiency savings are achieved such as:

  • More efficient use of materials and resource

  • Use of more environmentally friendly materials and supply chains.

  • More efficient construction and transportation processes

  • The use of more durable materials that last for the entire building lifecycle

Using these methods, building services design consultants can use the management of embodied carbon as a different form of cost management, which can provide savings during the design phase, as well as in repair, replacement, and maintenance costs over the entirety of the lifespan of the building.

Intelligent Solutions to the Biggest Problems

The construction industry has changed much over recent years in its quest to work more cleanly and embodied carbon management is just one of the tools that is being used by engineering consultants to get there. The journey is a long one and there is still some way to go, but by adopting these intelligent approaches to building design, we have a much better chance of reaching our ultimate goal.

At Varming Consulting Engineers Limited, we have a long and proud history in the construction industry and have been involved with a number of sustainable design projects. If you would like to know more about the details of these projects, about us and what we do, visit us online at

Alternatively, if you would like to speak to us directly about your specific requirements, call our Dublin HQ on 01 4872300 and we’ll be delighted to help you in any way we can.



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