If your green building design or policy does not address embodied carbon, you are missing half of the equation
As leading experts in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for buildings, we enable design teams, building owners, and policymakers to radically reduce embodied carbon at the project, portfolio & policy level
Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (WBLCA)
We specialize in embodied carbon and WBLCA modelling.
Our focus is on providing accurate analysis and useful guidance to design teams, empowering them with the data and knowledge they need to reduce embodied carbon.
We can support your project in meeting a wide range of North American embodied carbon requirements including:
City of Vancouver Rezoning & VBBL
Toronto Green Standard v4
LEED v4.1 MRc1
CaGBC Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) v3
IFLI Zero Carbon Certification
IFLI LBC/Energy Petal
We have conducted LCA studies for over 70 buildings across Canada and the United States, including residential, commercial, institutional, healthcare, and industrial buildings. Here are some of our projects:
Coal Harbour – Vancouver, BC (11 Storey, 120,000 SF, School, Child Care, Social Housing)
Inglewood Campus of Care – West Vancouver, BC (4 Buildings, 10 Storey, 900,000 SF, Care Facility)
Bakers Place – Madison, WI (14 Storey, 240,000 SF, Mass Timber Residential)
City Center 3 – Surrey, BC (10 Storey, 150,000 SF, Office)
Simpcw Community Centre – Barrière, BC (2 Storey, 40,000 SF, First Nation Community Center)
516 W Pender St – Vancouver, BC (31 Storey, 450,000 SF, Residential)
456 Prior St – Vancouver, BC (19 Storey, 500,000 SF, Residential)
18899 24th Ave – Surrey, BC (350,000 SF, Warehouse)
19655 Seton Way – Calgary, AB (30,000 SF, Retail)
Alexan Alderwood – Seattle, WA (4 Buildings, 6 Storey, 400,000 SF, Residential)
Port Stanley Fire Station – St. Thomas, ON (16,000 SF, Mass Timber Fire Station)
400 Kirkwood St – Ottawa, ON (6 Storey, 200,000 SF, Residential)
Reframed Initiative – Various Locations Across BC (6 Retrofits of Low-Rise MURBs)
Policy, Strategy & Research Consulting
We undertake a diverse portfolio of customized consulting projects to meet the unique needs of our clients.
Our work supports leading jurisdictions including the City of Vancouver, Province of BC, and the Canadian Federal Government in developing effective policies to reduce embodied carbon.
We also support forward-thinking organizations in creating a comprehensive internal strategy and roadmap to meet embodied carbon targets throughout their portfolio.
Additionally, we conduct cutting-edge LCA research to address critical knowledge gaps in this rapidly evolving field.
If your project involves embodied carbon policy, strategy, or research, and you believe our expert support can make a difference, let's talk!
CoV Embodied Carbon Policy and Guidelines (City of Vancouver)Provided expert advice to the City of Vancouver (CoV) in developing the first regulation in North America to address whole-building embodied carbon emissions in code. This policy will require all Part 3 buildings to disclose project-level embodied carbon emissions during building permit submission starting in October 2023 and to achieve at least 10% - 20% reduction depending on building type starting in January 2025. We worked closely with CoV staff to develop the Embodied Carbon Guidelines, which provide practical guidance for LCA practitioners on how to measure reductions in embodied carbon at the building level and demonstrate compliance for CoV’s requirements. The guidelines also provide much needed detailed guidance around baseline definition in WBLCA. We reviewed multiple rounds of industry feedback comments and provided recommendations to improve the Embodied Carbon Guidelines and Embodied Carbon Design Report (spreadsheet submission template). The version 1.0 of the guidelines and design report are now published on the CoV website under the "Embodied Carbon in Vancouver Building By-Law" section.
BC Embodied Carbon Modelling Study (Province of BC)We developed the "BC Embodied Carbon Modelling Study" for the BC Provincial Government, which resulted in a 2 hour presentation with 200 slides that covered a wide range of important topics relevant to the future of embodied carbon policy and action in BC, including: Why BC needs to develop bold Provincial embodied carbon policy Projected total embodied carbon associated with new construction in BC (2020-2050), based on our modelling utilizing best available embodied carbon benchmark data How BC’s total annual embodied carbon compares with various relevant sectors reported in BC’s Provincial GHG Inventory, including operational carbon Multiple Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (WBLCA) Case Studies of detailed buildings representing various building archetypes, exploring strategies to reduce embodied carbon to various % reduction thresholds Cost impact of reducing embodied carbon, based on relevant published information. Proposed % reduction embodied carbon thresholds that could potentially be integrated into a provincial policy framework Consumption-Based Emissions vs Production-Based Emissions, Carbon Border Adjustments, and proposed methodology for using trade data to support such policies Forestry and Biogenic Carbon Accounting - Exploring the latest developments in biogenic carbon accounting methods such as GWPbio (stand-level) and A0 (landscape level), and how such assumptions could impact our LCA calculations You can find the presentation and download the comprehensive 200-slide presentation here.
WBLCA Framework for Federal Procurement (Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat)We provided expert advice and recommendations to the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada (TBS) on their initial framework and roadmap for conducting Whole Building Life Cycle Assessments of major federal government construction projects. This framework will support the Greening Government Strategy's requirement for major federal construction projects to reduce the embodied carbon of structural materials by 30% and to disclose WBLCA results starting in 2025.
UBC Embodied Carbon Policy & Guidelines (University of British Columbia)We provided expert advice on the development of UBC's embodied carbon policy. Our recommendations on the roadmap to achieve UBC's Climate Action Plan target of a 50% reduction in embodied carbon by 2030 were included. We also provided feedback to help improve UBC's Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (WBLCA) Guidelines. Multiple workshops were delivered to all relevant UBC stakeholders to bring everyone up to speed on embodied carbon, align on UBC's targets, and facilitate conversations on how to achieve these targets.
Corporate Embodied Carbon Targets and Plan (Hang Lung Properties, Hong Kong/Shanghai)Advised Hang Lung Properties, a top-tier property developer in Hong Kong and Shanghai, on their corporate strategy for embodied carbon. Worked with the company's sustainability team to develop targets and define a baseline for measuring embodied carbon. Hosted workshops to align company executives and provided basic Embodied Carbon 101 training for over 100 company staff.
Comparing & Enhancing Building LCA Software Tools (National Research Council)We authored the “Comparing and Enhancing Building LCA Tools” report in 2019 for the National Research Council's LCA^2 Initiative. This report offered a comparative analysis and enhancement recommendations for three leading Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools used in North America: Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings (IE4B), Tally, and One Click LCA. In the first section, the tools were evaluated based on features and user experiences, considering the perspectives of architects, structural engineers, or LEED/LCA consultants. The second section offered improvement suggestions for each of the tools, as well as general recommendations, informed by industry user interviews and our perspective. Note that since 2019, the WBLCA software tool landscape has evolved, so some of the points made in this report may not be as relevant today. Download report here.
Biogenic Carbon Accounting of Wood Products in WBLCA (City of Vancouver)We developed a comprehensive presentation for the City of Vancouver, where we summarized the current state of the art around biogenic carbon accounting of wood products in WBLCAs. This is one of our most widely watched presentations with 1500+ views, which covered: What is biogenic carbon, and why is it important? Overview of how biogenic carbon is addressed in common LCA standards and the latest industry average EPDs for wood products. How do different WB-LCA software tools (i.e. Athena IE4B, Tally, and One Click LCA) address biogenic carbon? What are the underlying assumptions, and how do they impact WB-LCA case study results? Introduction to GWPbio, a dynamic approach to modelling biogenic carbon that accounts for factors such as forest rotation period and product carbon storage period. Presentation of preliminary calculations using the newly released Biogenic Carbon Footprints Calculator for Harvested Wood Products by WWF and Quantis, which builds on the latest research on GWPbio. Watch the presentation and download slides here.
Embodied Carbon of Construction Waste (Vancouver Coastal Health)We analyzed the embodied carbon of construction waste from Vancouver General Hospital's Operating Room Renewal project. For each key waste material category (i.e. steel, aluminum, concrete, wood, glass, brick, and asphalt), we modeled various end-of-life scenarios (e.g. landfill, incineration, recycling, reuse) and quantified their resulting impact on Modules C and D emissions. We summarized key insights from this analysis to inform end-of-life pathways for each of the key construction materials.
Reframed Initiative - LCA Modelling of Six Retrofits (Pembina Institute & PICS)The Reframed Initiative aims to transform how we retroﬁt multi-unit residential buildings, exploring optimal solutions that address a range of considerations including operational carbon, embodied carbon, seismic safety, climate resilience, cost. In our role as the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) consultants, Priopta kicked off this endeavour with an embodied carbon workshop, educating all participating design team members about the role and impact of embodied carbon in their proposed solutions. Following this, we engaged with each of the six interdisciplinary teams through the early design process, offering LCA modelling expertise to evaluate and optimize the embodied carbon in the multiple retrofit bundles they developed.
Policy, Strategy & Research Projects
Embodied Carbon Presentations
At Priopta, we make it a priority to stay updated with the fast-paced changes in the field of embodied carbon. We constantly absorb new reports, research, tool updates, and data as they become available. Then, we convert this critical information into practical guidance that we share in our educational efforts and presentations. This approach helps us to lead the industry in understanding and dealing with embodied carbon.
Since 2018, we've been committed to educating key industry stakeholders about the importance of embodied carbon. To do this, we have given over 100 presentations to leading design firms and at industry conferences/events, some of which are listed below. We also published two widely read articles in Canadian Architect magazine on why we urgently need to address embodied carbon, as well as how we can reduce embodied carbon across key materials. Our efforts have helped raise awareness and educate thousands of people within the building industry across Canada, the United States, Hong Kong, India, and Latin America.
We are dedicated to keeping our industry up to speed with the latest embodied carbon research, and we frequently update our presentations to include new insights. Check out some of our past recorded presentations below.
Download Presentation Slides
Download our presentation slides, which give a good overview on embodied carbon and touches on the following topics:
What Is Embodied Carbon and Why It Matters
Embodied Carbon vs Operational Carbon
Embodied Carbon Policies and Standards
Comparing LCA Software Tools
Comparing Structural Systems (Concrete, Steel, Wood)
Reducing Embodied Carbon of Key Materials (Concrete, Steel, Wood, Insulation, MEP & Interiors)
Drive Radical Reductions in Embodied Carbon Globally
At Priopta, our work revolves around a singular, ambitious mission: to drive radical reductions in embodied carbon globally. We bring our mission to life through five key areas:
Develop Expertise: By not only staying updated with the latest developments but also developing our own internal research and tools, we deepen our understanding of embodied carbon. This proactive exploration of knowledge has also allowed us to uncover critical industry blindspots.
Educate Industry: Our educational efforts have reached thousands across the building industry. We've delivered 100+ presentations, distilling complex embodied carbon information into practical, actionable insights.
Drive Policy: We advise leading jurisdictions such as the City of Vancouver, the Province of BC, and the Canadian Federal Government in developing robust and effective policies that can drive significant embodied carbon reductions at scale.
Inform Design: Each project serves as a platform to educate stakeholders about embodied carbon. We leverage our deep expertise in WBLCA modeling and internal data visualization tools to inform key design decisions, and effectively reduce embodied carbon on each project.
Build Networks: Our Principal, Anthony, founded CLF British Columbia (formerly CLF Vancouver)—the first local hub of the Carbon Leadership Forum—which organizes local events that empower industry professionals to radically reduce embodied carbon from buildings and infrastructure. Since 2019, CLF British Columbia has inspired over 30 other cities to start CLF local hubs. And now, Anthony serves as the CLF Global Hub Director, working to support the growth and impact of CLF hubs around the world.
Together, we can transform the building industry by putting embodied carbon reduction at its core. Join us in this crucial endeavor towards a more sustainable future.