ARPA-E Announces $5 Million in Funding to Universities Developing Life Cycle Assessment Tools for Carbon Negative Buildings

Projects at the University of Washington and University of California, Davis Focus on Carbon Drawdown and Storage in Building  Construction, Materials and Designs

WASHINGTON, DC — Today ARPA-E announced $5 million in funding to two universities—the University of Washington and University of California, Davis—working to develop life cycle assessment tools and frameworks associated with transforming buildings into net carbon storage structures. The funding is part of the Harnessing Emissions into Structures Taking Inputs from the Atmosphere (HESTIA) Exploratory Topic.

University of Washington

Parametric Open Data for Life Cycle Assessment (POD | LCA) - $3,744,303

The University of Washington's Carbon Leadership Forum will develop a rigorous and flexible parametric Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework, aligned data, and process integrated tools to assess the environmental impact of novel carbon storing materials and buildings during their rapid prototyping and design. The team will then develop custom LCA models to evaluate individual ARPA-E-funded building materials and designs to optimize their environmental benefits and net-carbon negativity. Collection of site-specific LCA data and regional spatiotemporal modeling for bio-based material systems will also be conducted. Analysis of these outputs will inform further development for ARPA-E funded HESTIA teams and comparison with current state-of-the-art.

University of California, Davis

Carbon Negative Materials Assessment (CaNMA) - $1,500,000

The University of California, Davis, will develop novel models that integrate material properties and characteristics into greenhouse gas sequestration scenarios to inform technological breakthroughs in carbon storing building materials. Models will also be generated for rapid assessment of uncertainty in the life cycle assessment of novel building materials that can inform ARPA-E-funded HESTIA teams of target areas for improvement during the material development process.

Last year, ARPA-E announced the HESTIA program to develop and demonstrate building materials and whole-building designs that are net carbon negative by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the production process and storing carbon in the finished product. The HESTIA Exploratory Topic complements these efforts by focusing on reducing the environmental footprint from the production, and use of, domestic resources, along with using building materials and designs that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store carbon in the finished product. You can learn more about the HESTIA Exploratory Topic on the ARPA-E website.