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Sustainable Design for Structural Engineers Webinar

October 28, 2021 5:30 pm 7:00 pm


Sustainable Design for Structural Engineers

SESOC is excited to host their first webinar on Sustainable Design for Structural Engineers.

New Zealand’s net-zero-carbon legislation requires all industries to contribute to the carbon reduction journey and this is no different for the Construction and Structural Design industries.  The Building and Construction sector currently accounts for around 15% of New Zealand’s annual carbon emissions (MBIE, 2021), and around half of this is through the materials used in buildings and infrastructure.

SESOC is committed to supporting the shift towards net zero carbon construction, and to that end, are looking for ways we can support our members to engage, understand, and undertake embodied carbon assessments for their projects, increasing the ‘carbon literacy’ of the industry (and clients) ahead of the expected mandatory reporting requirements from Central Government.

When: Thursday 28th October at 5.30pm
Where: Online Via Zoom
Cost: Free | Register here

To Kick start our conversations on Sustainable design, we welcome Will Arnold, head of Climate Action for the Institution of Structural Engineers in the UK to share the journey that the UK has been on over the past few years.

From within our own SESOC Sustainable Design Task Force, Jared Keen and Nick Carmen will then share their presentations from the SESOC 2021 Conference focussing on how we as structural engineers can make a positive contribution through our projects.

Q and A for the speakers will run after the presentations.

Will Arnold, Head of Climate Action, the Institution of Structural Engineers

Will leads the IStructE’s response to the climate emergency, bringing sustainability action into all aspects of its work. He is responsible for driving change within the profession, setting the minimum sustainability standards for institution members, producing sustainability publications and training to support this, and collaborating across the wider industry as it moves towards zero emissions. Previous to his work with the institution, Will was a practising structural engineer at Arup for 10 years where he was responsible for key aspects of ambitious architectural projects across the world.


Will is chair of the Construction Industry Council’s 2050 Group, and an active member of The Edge thinktank, the UK Built Environment Advisory Group, and the Engineering Advisory Group for The Structural Engineer magazine. He also sits on the judging panel for The Structural Awards. In 2021, Will was presented with the President’s Award by the Institution, in recognition of his work instigating change in the field of structural sustainability.

Embodied Carbon in Structural Design  

Nick Carman – Mott MacDonald NZ

 Based on some recent experiences and projects quantifying embodied carbon for buildings in Aotearoa-New Zealand, the purpose of this presentation is to discuss the motivation behind studying embodied carbon, fundamentals of LCA for buildings and typical results from recent studies, from the viewpoint of an engineer entering into the world of LCA.

A few key areas of uncertainty are discussed, such as appropriate steelwork embodied carbon factors (ECFs), comparison between as-designed and as-constructed measures, and whether the use of timber to decarbonise a project is a silver bullet.


Nick Carman is a Technical Director within the Built Environment sector at Mott MacDonald, with a strong focus on sustainability and  low-carbon design brought about by collaboration.  He has worked on projects throughout Australasia, the UK, the Middle-East and Canada, but his favourite work remains that in his home of New Zealand.

Challenges and Possible Solutions for Structural Engineers Seeking to Make a Positive Contributions to the Climate Emergency

Jared Keen – BECA

As the construction industry, and the society within which we operate, seeks mitigations to our present climate emergency, structural engineers are seeking ways to transform from part of the problem, to part of the solution.  In this presentation, Jared examines the barriers that face practicing engineers in the meaningful implementation of low-carbon structures, and how those barriers might be hurdled, either by individual design teams, or by the industry at large.


Jared Keen is a Technical Director at Beca.  As a practicing structural engineer he has delivered major projects throughout New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Europe.  He is the current IStructE New Zealand branch chair, and an industry affiliate for QuakeCore.  He has a particular interest in sustainability and low damaged design and has delivered multiple timber projects in New Zealand