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Environmental Analysis Tool

Winner - Bronze

Competition: Spark:App
Designer: Mark Sarkisian - Stuctural Engineering Director
Design Type: Tool
Company / Organization / School: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Website: http://www.som.com

Recent reports indicate that 30-45% of the total life-cycle carbon footprint of a building is attributed to the carbon embodied in the building. Historically, carbon assessment tools have not included the production and transportation of materials used in construction and their repair during its service life, and they have not fully addressed the life-cycle environmental impact of structures as it relates to probabilistic seismic damage. The Environmental Analysis Tool™ has been developed to consider the environmental impact of structural systems over the entire life cycle of the building. The Environmental Analysis Tool™ assists architects, engineers, contractors, and owners in quantifying the life-cycle carbon footprint associated with a building’s structural system with consideration of probable seismic damage. The program is capable of predicting carbon emission equivalents at the conception of design simply by knowing the location of the proposed building, the size of the project, the structural material type, and the expected service life. The program is also capable of performing analysis during the later stages of design, for specific project information. The program can be used to evaluate new and existing structures. The carbon footprint of a building is sensitive to its structural system with results that may be significantly more favorable with enhanced seismic resistance systems such as base-isolation or viscous dampers. Integrating environmental performance with seismic risk provides opportunities to communicate the benefits of enhanced seismic performance with regards to damage mitigation and environmental impacts to owners, developers, and the general public.