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MECLA News — the latest on embodied carbon in the built environment

Demand for engineered timber products is growing in Australia. Wood is a regenerative resource and often considered low or zero carbon. At the end of 2023, MECLA hosted a Spotlight on Timber Myth Busting where industry professionals across the supply chain contronted some of the prevailing myths around timber use. However, growing timber use must also be seen as an opportunity to drive more responsible forestry management practices. 

Building services are an often eschewed part of the embodied carbon conversation. They are complex systems involving thousands of parts and complicated supply chains, so what do we need to do to decarbonise them? WG5e Chair Mark Vender and MECLA Project Officer Alexi Barnstone write about decarbonising building services. 

South Australia has demonstrated impressive ambition when it comes to sustainable procurement with their new sustainable procurement policy supporting the government’s infrastructure and transport programs to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. MECLA Project Director Monica Richter writes about her time in SA and what we can learn from them.

Life Cycle calculation methods for measuring embodied carbon are quickly popularising in industry. This article covers how these various methodologies can be used to best achieve carbon savings in building and infrastructure, their respective strengths and weaknesses, and where Australia needs to go from here to make sure it supports and captures this emerging market. 

Digital technologies have a crucial role to play in the pathways toward decarbonisation in building and construction. In the recent MECLA Spotlight on Digital Technologies for Lowering Embodied Carbon we explored various technologies currently in use across the constructions sector. Learn more about each of these here. 

In January 2023 the Australian Steel Institute (ASI) launched the Steel Sustainability Australia (SSA) certification program. It is the first of its kind, engaging the entire steel value chain. We sat down with ASI Sustainability Manager Jerusha Beresford to understand the important role of this certification in driving emissions reductions and sustainability in the steel industry. 

MECLA Founding Partner and Financial Supporter MCi Carbon is an Australian-based global clean technology company transforming carbon dioxide into building materials and other valuable industrial products for the circular economy. We hear more about their technology, their membership of MECLA, and a new long-term strategic cooperation agreement with RHI Magnesita. 

In September of 2022 MECLA Senior Project Manager Kathy Verheyen published a piece in the Built Environment Economist, an AIQS publication. Read more to learn more about the MECLA vision and how we are driving demand and supporting supply for low emissions building materials.