Hope Furrer Associates is pleased to announce that we have joined the SE2050 program initiated by the Structural Engineering Institute! This is a grassroots effort that is taking hold in our worldwide structural engineering community, supporting the lofty goal for a carbon neutral society by 2050. The SE2050 project was started in 2020, as a response to a challenge issued to the building industry by the Carbon Leadership Forum. That challenge, stated succinctly on their website is to “take action to decarbonize buildings and materials.”
Despite knowledge that the building industry is a major contributor to embodied carbon emissions, structural engineers and other individual designers have felt overwhelmed by the size and scope of systemic changes that need to occur in order to reverse this trend. The problem is created collectively, and so the solution must come from all of us. SE2050 is the industry effort geared specifically to the structural engineering community. Similar programs exist in the architecture industry with AIA2030, and in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering industry with MEP2040.
So what meaningful steps can we, structural engineers, take to reduce carbon emissions? No one person or single company has the power to reduce all embodied carbon in our atmosphere, so what’s the use? Of course, this sort of thinking results in inertia and stalemates. It is time to do something, and anyone who has learned to walk knows that it starts with a single step. By joining SE2050, we at HFA are taking our first step. Over the next year, HFA will be learning what structural materials have the greatest impact, positive or negative, on carbon emissions, and we will begin tracking the emissions of our projects during the design and construction phases. We will review our findings and talk to our like-minded clients in order to implement the most effective improvements. And we will be doing this along with 100 other structural engineering companies that have committed to SE2050. Together, we can make a difference, one step at a time.
You can view our progress on the SE2050 website here!