Embodied Carbon Researcher 2

Carbon Leadership Forum, University of Washington Carbon Leadership Forum, University of Washington Employer:
Mon, Aug 8 '22Posted on:

The Carbon Leadership Forum, a research organization based out of the University of Washington's College of Built Environment, is seeking a collaborative Researcher to help execute our mission to accelerate the decarbonization of the building sector through eliminating the embodied carbon in building materials and construction through collective action. 

Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of construction materials used in buildings, roads, and other infrastructure.  We need to reduce embodied carbon by 40-65% by 2030 to meet the reduction scenarios set by the IPCC to avoid catastrophic effects of climate change, and yet current building design and construction practice is failing to adequately address embodied carbon and make meaningful progress. We believe that robust, multi-disciplinary, collaborative research on embodied carbon and decarbonization pathways paired with accessible tools and resources is critical to making progress across the building sector.

The Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) has three strategic pillars to help us reach our mission:

  1. Advance Data and Methods: We align, assess and advance life cycle assessment data, tools, and methodology to increase access and availability of robust data for effective decision-making; and

  2. Inform Effective and Just Policy: We develop research, analysis, and model policy language and act as a technical advisor to inform policy development. Our work spans local, state, federal and corporate policy.

  3. Building Community for Impact: We build and convene a diverse network of leaders through our online forum and regional hubs to enable widespread action to reduce embodied carbon

The Researcher will be responsible for the execution of research and analysis, project management, development of guidance documents and educational resources, and outreach to support embodied carbon reductions in the building industry. The Researcher will work collaboratively in an integrated team with backgrounds in architecture, engineering, environmental policy, and materials manufacturing. This position will report to the Senior LCA Data and Methods Researcher and be a part of the CLF’s core research team. 

As a CLF researcher, you will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with our internal research team, building industry firms, partner nonprofits, and/ or policy makers focused on embodied carbon. 

This position requires experience in either building performance, computation, technical project management, embodied carbon assessments, or life cycle assessment (LCA). This position will benefit from experience in architectural design, engineering or materials research, but such background is not required.  Depending on level of experience the CLF will provide in-house resources and mentorship for training. 

Position responsibilities

90% Research

Conduct research to support development of accessible, reliable, and trusted LCA tools, frameworks, methods and data, and the adoption of that knowledge in practice. 

This includes:

  • Develop new knowledge, data and resources to advance embodied carbon data and methodology

  • Advance the state of LCA practice and carbon accounting by developing and implementing projects that include:

    • Novel and/ or improved methods to conduct whole building LCAs  

    • Integration of embodied carbon reduction strategies in practice.

    • In depth research on material supply chains, such as wood or other bio-based materials

    • Research on novel carbon storage or sequestration technologies and their representation in carbon accounting

  • Perform interviews and convene stakeholders to inform and assess CLF research

  • Management of project meetings and tasks for research projects

  • Review and track relevant research and reports

  • Lead and/or assist in the preparation and review of reports, articles, and presentations to communicate project updates and research results, including visual representations of data 

  • Collaborate with clients, partners and UW research teams

  • Build capacity for embodied carbon accounting and LCA modeling by architecture, engineering and construction community through presentations and trainings to designers, students, and interested groups, including:

10% Program Management/ Development

  • Understand the broad strategic objectives of the Carbon Leadership Forum and contribute to their execution and refinement.

  • Uses peer network to expand technical capabilities and identify new research opportunities.

  • Supports ongoing CLF administrative needs such as grant management, development, copy editing, writing articles, etc.

Experience required:

  • Experience with carbon accounting, building performance analysis, tool development and/or other forms of research and analysis related to the building, industry, forestry, or related sectors.

  • Strong communication skills (verbal and written)

  • Ability to analyze and visualize data using tools such as Excel, Tableau and/or other similar software 

  • Experience contributing to complex projects and diverse teams with demonstrated examples of successful completion.

  • Basic understanding of the building/construction industry

  • Demonstrated commitment to value diversity and contribute to an inclusive working and learning environment.

  • Has experience applying fundamental concepts, practices & procedures related to embodied carbon/ LCA research and/ or practice

Desired – Education, work experience: 

  • Masters Degree in architecture, engineering, building science, computation, environmental studies/ forestry, or related field 
  • Experience working in the building/construction industry

  • Project management experience including budget oversight, staffing, delegation, partner communication, etc. 

  • Experience using whole building LCA software, LCA datasets and Environmental Product Declarations.

  • Experience in the use of Life Cycle Assessment software (Gabi, SimaPro or OpenLCA) to conduct life cycle assessments of building materials and products.

  • Experience with scripting using one or more of the following: Python, R, Java D3 or any similar tool

  • Experience initiating and executing a research project

  • General knowledge of LCA data, methods and application in design optimization.

  • Experience developing and executing educational resources such as coursework and/or practice guides.

  • Experience collaborating with diverse industry stakeholders

  • Graphic design/representation skills

  • Non-profit and/or academic experience 


Learn more here

Apply here

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