Cutting Carbon: Structural Steel and Concrete (Series Part 3)

Cutting Carbon: Structural Steel and Concrete (Series Part 3)

The presence of embodied carbon in building projects has emerged as a pivotal topic for architects, engineers, builders, and policymakers. It is critical to understand the environmental footprint of construction materials and identify novel solutions that will shape a greener, more resilient future. When using structural materials like steel and concrete, engineers need to consider the design, procurement, and potential reuse of these components to understand the overall carbon impact of their project.

In the third session of our “Cutting Carbon” webinar series, we will explore the embodied carbon of two widely used structural materials—steel and concrete—and discuss how the structural engineering industry has responded to the call for sustainability. We will also review the current state of practice for using steel and concrete and share innovative techniques and best practices that can significantly mitigate embodied carbon on projects.


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the concept of embodied carbon and its significance in the context of sustainable construction.
  • Discuss how design and procurement decisions for structural materials impact the embodied carbon of projects.
  • Identify key factors influencing the embodied carbon of steel and concrete, enabling informed material selection in construction projects.
  • Explore innovative strategies and best practices to minimize the embodied carbon of structural materials and contribute to a more sustainable built environment.


Cutting Carbon: Embodied Carbon Discussions for Sustainable Buildings 

As global temperatures increase, so do discussions about reducing the environmental impact of building projects. For decades, the industry has focused on lowering operational carbon in buildings by decreasing energy usage. More recently, we now recognize the importance of reducing the embodied carbon in our projects caused by extracting, fabricating, transporting, installing, maintaining, and disposing of building materials and raw material components. Complicating matters, balancing operational and embodied carbon at the same time can lead to conflicting priorities and challenging discussions about retrofitting existing buildings versus designing new and efficient ones.  

In this four-part webinar series, experts from Simpson Gumpertz & Heger will explore these topics from varying angles, including overall sustainability concerns, building enclosure system design, and structural material considerations.  

Join us for the rest of the series:

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

Eric Fleet
Eric Fleet | Project Consultant

Eric Fleet has worked on a broad variety of projects involving repair and rehabilitation of existing concrete, masonry, and steel structures; investigation of precast facade panel systems; design of circular steel stairs; and analysis of marine oil terminal reinforced concrete platform structures for nonlinear seismic applications. Eric is an active member of SGH’s SE 2050 working group and reporting subcommittee. Is his time with the subcommittee, he has helped develop the firm’s annual Embodied Carbon Action Plan and performed embodied carbon takeoffs of firm projects to meet the company’s annual reporting goal. 

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. 

Matthew Sander
Matthew Sander | Project Consultant

Matt Sander has experience on projects ranging in size and material from timber canopy structures in public parks to 425,000 sq ft concrete office buildings. Matt has completed several concrete rehabilitation projects and renovations of historic buildings in the National Capital region. He has performed condition assessments and structural analysis of existing buildings to support master planning for health care and higher education institutions. As a member of SGH’s SE 2050 Working Group, Matt has focused on developing strategies for reducing embodied carbon in structural design. He is a member of the SEA of Metropolitan Washington’s Sustainable Design Committee.