SEAOC Sustainable Design Committee Update

By Megan Stringer, SEAOC SDC Chair
The Sustainable Design Committee is in its 11th year of existence! There have been a The Sustainable Design Committee is in its 11th year of existence! There have been a lot of advancements in that time and the demand for a more sustainable and resilient built environment is at an all-time high. Structural engineers are being looked to to do their part. The SEAOC SDC was created to advocate the role of the structural engineer in the sustainable design process and the importance of incorporating sustainable design principles in practice.  Recently, the committee has been educating and advocating for structural engineers to employ Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which is a tool that calculates the embodied carbon of the structures we design; to use materials like cross-laminated timber that have  significantly smaller carbon footprints than concrete or steel; and to advocate for resiliency and performance based design.  
The SEAOC SDC is off to a busy year. As part of the committee’s emerging technology initiative we are currently working on:
  • Developing a practical guide to Life Cycle Assessment
  • Reaching out to CALBO to facilitate discussions surrounding Cross Laminated Timber to address structural and fire concerns
  • Applying to join the Ad Hoc ICC committee on Tall Timber Buildings
  • Looking into SP3, FEMA P58, and the environmental impacts associated with seismic damage
  • Working to get seismic resiliency into CALGreen
  • Members recently presented at the 2016 Geo/Structures Congress on a Life-Cycle Assessment case study and are submitting to future conferences

The committee is always looking for members. Reach out to your local SDC to get involved!

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