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Check out this great embodied energy calculator

February 14, 2008

Preservation Nation, the National Trust’s blog, recently posted info about a great “embodied energy calculator,” developed by the May T. Watts Appreciation Society in Highland Park, Illinois (a community, by the way, experiencing incredible teardowns problems). Check out the calculator at – and the associated blog.

Enter the size of a building and the building type and generate an estimate of the amount of embodied energy in any building, and calculate the total energy wasted by demolishing a building and constructing another structure in its place.

As Preservation Nation points out, though, “the work can’t stop here …. Embodied energy only tells us part of the story. While knowing the embodied energy in a building enables us to understand how building construction and demolition compares to other energy intensive activities, such as auto use, it doesn’t help with much else. It doesn’t tell us anything about toxins that are released as a byproducts of extraction, manufacturing, construction and demolition – or the natural resources consumed in the process.”

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