By USGBC MA Communications
Linnean analyzed four design scenarios for the Martin Luther King School, designed by Perkins Eastman, to identify the design that would produce the least amount of embodied and operational emissions throughout the life of the building.
Linnean conducted a life-cycle analysis of the building’s materials to determine the carbon emissions from embodied carbon, and analyzed annual operating emissions from each design scenario. We examined whether retrofitting the existing building would save carbon over time, or whether tearing down the building and designing an entirely new facility would be more energy and carbon efficient.
The final analysis concluded that tearing down the original building (a brutalist concrete structure built in the 1960s) and replacing it with either of the three new designs would produce fewer emissions than retrofitting over time. Even considering the emissions resulting from the demolition and waste of the existing structure, the existing envelope and mechanical systems were so inefficient that they would cause significantly higher annual emissions than constructing one of the new designs proposed.
Image of Cambridge’s Martin Luther King, Jr. School.