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The Carbon Neutral Design Project:
Carbon Neutral Teaching: Curriculum Materials Development
Nader Chalfoun
University of Arizona

2008 Leading Edge Competition Studio

Local, Recycled and Low VOC Materials


Design Performance Objective

Local and Recycled Materials

Screenshot of the Athena EcoCalculator

Student: a/a



2008 Leading Edge Competition and Studio

Local, Recycled and Low VOC Materials

The main focus of this design was to provide healthy spaces, both outdoor and indoor, to learn about the natural environment and history of the area. The purpose was to limit environmental impact within the site through the development of a LEED® certified building and to design a building that is both comfortable and functional for all users.


Investigative Strategy

Following with the current LEED® criteria, it is absolutely feasible to incorporate local materials into a project. The consideration of recycled and low VOC materials is also strongly encouraged early in the design process.

Evaluation Process
We then compared this baseline, comprised of mostly concrete and steel, with a secondary building assembly option that uses mostly wood and wood composite materials. We found that the second assembly option had significant reductions in carbon emissions due to lowered embodied energy use for manufacturing, but has a significantly higher H2O pollution index.
Information about the Project and Studio

• course outline

• project outline

Evaluative Criteria
Range of Applicability in terms of CLIMATE
Range of Applicability in terms of TYPE
Reference Material
Duration of Exercise
Degree of Difficulty / Previous Knowledge Required







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