In September, we went to the Boston Climate Strike to try and make a difference. When we came back we were all thinking about a similar flaw. It was a powerful experience to be there with so many other people who were passionate about the same subject as us, but we noticed that most of the speakers and the people present didn’t address many of the specific issues that are affecting our climate. It’s especially hard for youth to make a change when they can’t offer up possible solutions: adults are less inclined to listen to kids when they don’t know the specifics and offer realistic solutions. Most students know that there is something wrong with the climate but don’t have the knowledge that they need to move forward. To provide students with the opportunity they need to be able to make a change, we made the SCC (Student Carbon Calculator) that will measure the embodied carbon and energy usage of their school buildings. Embodied carbon is the amount of carbon that is released in the shipping and manufacturing of your materials, the construction of your building and all the carbon its emits during its lifespan.
Our main source of information was Tim Lock, the Chief Architect at OP/L, the biggest Passive House firm in New England that's based out of Maine. He provided us with a lot of the specific details and numbers we needed for the SCC. He also workshopped our problem to make it into something that would be useful to him and other architects. We also talked to Scott Woodin, the principal architect at the firm DRA, who taught us about LEED standards to make buildings more sustainable. He also explained embodied carbon and what goes into the manufacturing and transportation of materials.
We hope you enjoy using our carbon calculator! Our goal is to allow as many people use our program and gain information about their school building. If you liked our calculator, make sure to tell fellow students and friends about the SCC!