Lauren Moore

MIT Department: Architecture
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Christoph Reinhart
Undergraduate Institution: Howard University
Website: LinkedIn
Research Poster
Lightning Talk


I am a rising senior civil and environmental engineering major from Howard University. My current research interests are in innovative materials for the use of sustainable infrastructure and systems. My goal is to obtain my PhD upon graduation and ultimately teach at the undergraduate level. When I am not studying, my hobbies include hanging out with friends, playing sports, cooking, and sleeping.

2021 Abstract

Parametrized Templating of the U.S. Building Stock for Embodied
Carbon Estimation

Lauren Moore1, Ramon Weber2, Christoph Reinhart2
1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Howard University
2Sustainable Design Lab, Department of Architecture in Building Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In the total life cycle of a building, carbon emissions are incurred in all stages and are generally categorized into either embodied or operational carbon. Much of previous research and strategies for cutting building emissions have focused solely on operational carbon. However, this is not sufficient as recent studies suggest embodied carbon of structural materials accounts for at least 50% of life cycle emissions [1]. With the built environment accounting for 40% carbon emissions in the United States alone [2], the urgency for better data and guidance on how to implement low embodied carbon strategies becomes apparent. Unlike operational energy, a proactive design approach is critical as the amount of atmospheric carbon is fixed once a building is constructed. This research extends existing methods for estimating embodied carbon of the U.S. building stock through accurate material quantification [3]. In this research, we focus on the creation of an embodied carbon template for standardized apartment buildings. Generative design methods and automated workflows are used to analyze prototypical large-scale timber framing systems and their structural material quantities. Through the study of commercial construction details and building floorplans, we create a template for a prototypical apartment building. With the use of parameterized geometric and material variables, the model could be applied to a variety of buildings without the need for manual input. The resulting embodied carbon templates are an essential tool for early stage design decisions and have the potential to influence policy implementations, and estimate the environmental impact of new developments.

[1] “Structural Materials and the Path to Zero.” Carbon Leadership Forum, 4 Apr. 2020,

[2] World Green Building Council (WGBC), IEA, and UN-Environment, “2018 Global Status Report,” 2018.

[3] R. Weber, C. Mueller, and C. Reinhart, “Generative Structural Design for Embodied Carbon Estimation,” in Proceedings of the IASS Annual Symposium 2020/21 and the the 7th International Conference on Spatial Structures, 2021.