Designing for Carbon Neutrality: Engineering and Architectural Perspectives

Designing for Carbon Neutrality: Engineering and Architectural Perspectives

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the built environment is associated with nearly half of all energy consumption in the United States and nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. In response, design professionals from across the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry have sought ways to reduce building sector greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the effects of climate change. Programs such as the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment and the Structural Engineering Institute’s SE 2050 Commitment aim for net-zero emissions before the effects of climate change become irreversible. In addition, the Gensler Cities Climate Challenge (GC3) is a firmwide commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030. Through the framework of these commitments, design professionals seek to educate their peers, track carbon on their projects, and share strategies and lessons learned from their efforts.

In this webinar, we will share perspectives from architects and engineers working within these programs to identify design decisions that reduce both operational carbon (emissions associated with heating, cooling, lighting, and other energy-consuming operations) and embodied carbon (emissions associated with material production, transport, and construction). We will explore opportunities and barriers to reaching program goals, discuss ongoing measuring and benchmarking activities, and review case study examples of successful projects.


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the causes and consequences of carbon emissions related to the AEC industry.
  • Identify measuring and benchmarking tools and approaches to track carbon associated with the built environment.
  • Recognize lessons learned from architectural and engineering case study examples.
  • Discuss the opportunities and barriers to reaching carbon neutrality in the built environment.

Participants will earn 1.0 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for attending the live webinar. Registration is free. Please note that space is limited – email events@sgh.com to join our waitlist if the session is closed when you register. 

About the Speaker

Erik Barth
Erik Barth | Regional Design Resilience Leader

Erik is an architect and the northeast regional leader of design resilience & sustainability efforts at Gensler. He is the leader of the firmwide Gensler mass timber group. Erik leads firmwide research efforts on carbon accounting through the Gensler Research Institute. Erik has experience with a variety of project types, including residential, higher education, biotechnology, and mixed-use office. Erik is an adjunct professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he teaches core curriculum on sustainability and building technology. Erik has a background in environmental science and in the building trades as a carpenter. He studied environmental studies at Bates College and attended University of Oregon for his masters degree in architecture.

Julia Hogroian
Julia Hogroian | Consulting Engineer

Julia Hogroian is a structural design engineer at SGH with expertise working on educational and institutional projects in the New England area. In addition to new design efforts, Julia has worked on a variety of investigations and renovations, including seismic upgrades of existing buildings and conversions of existing buildings into new laboratory spaces. Beyond project work, she is a member of the Structural Engineering Institute’s Sustainability Committee and is a leader of SGH’s SE 2050 Working Group, helping to champion SGH’s project reporting efforts. 

Alankrita Prasad
Alankrita Prasad | Architect

Alankrita is an architect and member of Design Resiliency group at Gensler Boston. She has over 13 years of experience across life sciences, retail, hospitality, workplace, transportation, healthcare, luxury-residential and academic sectors, including an AIA/COTE Top 10 winner project. She is a member of Climate Reality Leadership Corps and has co-taught a class on sustainable systems at the Boston Architectural College. Alankrita holds masters in Sustainable Design from Carnegie Mellon and is an advocate of transdisciplinary design.

Michael Tecci
Michael Tecci | Associate Principal
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Michael Tecci is a structural design engineer at SGH with experience encompassing a wide variety of building types, including educational, institutional, and commercial buildings. His experience includes the design of new structures, repair and rehabilitation of existing structures, and investigations and evaluations of deteriorated and historic structures. He is a leader of SGH’s SE 2050 Working Group and an active member of several industry organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, Boston Society of Civil Engineers, Structural Engineers Association of Massachusetts, American Institute of Steel Construction, and ACE of Greater Boston.