Sustainable Design Resources for Structural Engineers

The resources below are listed ‘For Information’. Some of the resources are not specific to New Zealand so will need to be considered and used carefully in any New Zealand specific application, as well as checking for the latest revisions. We have tried to capture a range of resources, however this is a fast-moving space at the moment. If you think we have missed something important that others would benefit from, please get in touch with the SESOC Sustainability Task Force through Dr. Charlotte Toma or SESOC Exec.

Recognition of the environmental impacts of our work has long been an important part of our profession, as included in the Engineering New Zealand Code of Ethics. There is currently a growing focus on how to address this concern, in a way that recognises the ongoing importance of balancing environmental, economic, social, and cultural sustainability initiatives and outcomes on projects.

Read the full SESOC Position statement on Sustainable Design:

SESOC’s Position Statement on Sustainable Design


Courses and seminars
SESOC Webinar 28th October 2021

Sustainable Design for Structural Engineers – Session 1

1st September 2023

Sustainable Design for Structural Engineers – YouTube


SESOC Seminar Planned for 2024
BRANZ Webinars (free) Webinar: LCA Overview | BRANZ

Webinar: LCAQuick | BRANZ

Achieve NetZero Applying InTIME 4-Week Short Course, available at The University of Canterbury. This is an online, self-paced course, available any time.
Transition Engineering – Energy InTIME 6-module course for Engineers – available at The University of Canterbury.


SESOC & IStructE Resources
SESOC submissions on the MBIE BfCC framework SESOC Submission for Building for Climate Change
2021 SESOC Conference Papers Donnell, Krumdieck and Neitzert – ‘An introduction to transitional engineering and its implications for the practice of structural engineering in New Zealand from 2021-2035’

Symons and Critchley – ‘Future regulation, and the role of increased seismic resilience’

Mitchell and Carman – ‘An introduction to embodied carbon associated with building design in Aotearoa – New Zealand’

Keen and Moses – ‘Challenged and possible solutions for structural engineers seeking to make a positive contribution to the climate emergency’

Moses – ‘Integrating sustainability considerations into structural engineering’

Coulthard – ‘Ashburton District Council Civic Centre: Learnings on timber connections’

IStructE resources –

A comprehensive and (mostly) free set of resources covering

–        Get Informed

–        Low Carbon

–        Lean Design

–        Zero Waste

–        Influence the Brief

–        Get Involved

–        Case Studies

Climate emergency – The Institution of Structural Engineers (


Whole-of-Life Embodied Carbon Assessment Resources
MBIE Technical Methodology Embodied Carbon Technical Methodology
BRANZ tools


Links to EPD sources/repository.
Naylor Love carbon calculator
eTool carbon assessment software


Carbon Emissions Reduction – New Zealand References
Climate Change Response(Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019 The Zero Carbon Amendment Act 2019
Emissions Reduction Plan
MBIE Building for Climate Change Proposal
Green Building Council


New Zealand:

World GBC:


Engineering New Zealand Engineering Climate Action | Engineering NZ

Buildings | Engineering NZ


Carbon Emissions Reduction – International References
Engineers Declare Engineers Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency
London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) Embodied Carbon Primer 2020 & other publications:
UK RIBA ‘Whole of Life Carbon Guide’ for UK Architects, 2017 ??
WPMA Wood Design Guide ch 2.1 ‘Trees, Carbon, and the Environment’, 2020


Relevant professional bodies (links)
The Sustainability Society  A technical interest group of Engineering NZ

New Zealand Green Building Council
The Global Association for Transition Engineering
Engineers for Social Responsibility (NZ)
Life Cycle Association of New Zealand
Engineering New Zealand – Climate Action and Position Statement