Embodied Energy Building Materials

Embodied energy is the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a building, from the acquisition of natural resources to product delivery. This includes the mining and manufacturing of materials and equipment, the transport of the materials and the administrative functions. Embodied energy is a significant component of the lifecycle impact of a home.

Every building is a complex combination of many processed materials, each of which contributes to the building's total embodied energy. Renovation and maintenance also add to the embodied energy over a building's life. It is now understood that the embodied energy content of a building can be the equivalent of many years of operational energy.

The single most important factor in reducing the impact of embodied energy is to design long-life, durable and adaptable buildings.