While the past focus on energy and carbon is more about operational, the new focus will be on Whole Life Carbon. For the past 20+ years, the MEP industry was focused on operational energy reductions. Through strategies related to energy efficiency, utility source selection, and integration of renewable energy, great progress was made to reduce operational carbon. Our focus is now moving to the embodied and Whole Life Carbon associated with the materials and systems found in the built environment. Embodied carbon looks at the carbon impacts associated with extracting, manufacturing, and transporting materials to the jobsite, in addition to manufacturing and transportation, including impacts related to in-use and end of life. While life cycle analysis (LCA) accounts for impacts over the full lifecycle of a material, which includes embodied and operating carbon, or, cradle to grave. Also, more focus is on Upfront Carbon, or, cradle to gate to understand the carbon impact of different materials.


This will greatly impact our work tomorrow. This discussion will include different methodologies in counting of carbon, examples of different carbon calculations, and ways to reduce carbon emission holistically to achieve 1.5C net zero economy.  We need to accelerate holistic carbon effort to an all-electric, and net zero future.


Luke is a LEED Fellow; ASHRAE Fellow; ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Commercial Team Leader; ASHRAE Task Force for Building Decarbonization Embodied Carbon ExCom; ASHRAE Directors-at-Large; Carbon Leadership Forum MEP 2040 founding member; City of Chicago Decarbonization Task Force; AIA COVID-19 Task Force, BOMA Toronto Health Committee Co-Chair; Chair of ASHRAE “Environmental Health Committee”; ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer; Former Chair of ASHRAE TC 9.12 on Tall Buildings; Industry Advisory Board for IN2 start-up incubator program with US National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

He is the wide firm Principal of the Sustainability Engineering Studio for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP. His work includes Burj Khalifa, the current world’s tallest building, and other four of the top 20 tallest buildings in the world. Other work also included General Motors Global Headquarters, Beijing Finance Street, US Census Bureau, US Air Force Academy CCLD, US Embassy in Beijing, BBVA Tower in Mexico City, LG Art Hall in Seoul, Korea; Master planning of XiongAn – the millennium plan of China, and numerous other significant tall and large projects.