What are the repercussions of our everyday choices?
Embedded energy is an assessment of the energy used in a finished product. Its calculation involves isolating the energy consumed in the stages of harvesting, processing, manufacturing, and transportation. Every product from a pen to a chair to a house is a complex combination of many processed materials, all of which have quantifiable energy histories. If made visible and accessible, this information can empower and motivate designers of all disciplines to make informed and responsible decisions in their day-to-day material selections. Embedded energy itself is a powerful estimate; its widespread awareness among the professionals responsible for our material culture can help reduce wasteful energy expenditures on a far-reaching scale.
NYDesigns’ Embedded Energy Calculator (EEC), generously funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is an expandable online tool for designers of all disciplines. It has two components: a back-end database of researched materials and a front-end interactive user platform that calculates embedded energy values for a project or a work-in-progress – for example, a chair – by breaking it down into its component materials and their corresponding energy values.
The EEC is in its infant stages and we have a lot of development work ahead of us. In the coming months, we’ll be adding up to 500 materials for you to play with. We’d like to enlist designers, design fans, and early adopters to engage with the EEC as it currently stands and shoot us some valuable feedback. Interested? We’ll make it worth your while. Register to beta test or shoot us an email at EEC@nydesigns.org. Get started right now and test what we have