November/December 2022 - 88

If carbon emissions are leading to
Three of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals
companies, particularly many of the
industry's clients, use when deciding
how they can contribute to this global
effor t . However, the SDGs and
everything they encompass can be
overwhelming. How can the geotechnical
industry help solve these
global problems? There are ways for
the industry, mostly at an organizational
level, to touch on every goal. But
by focusing on a specific goal where
there is potential to have a measurable
impact, the industry can initiate efforts
in a way that i s prac t i cal and
achievable. Thus, with the carbon
calculator in hand, it makes it easy to
start with SDG 13, Climate Action. And
by reducing carbon, we can
more responsibly use our
resources and reduce our
pollution emissions, impacting
SDGs 12 and 15.
Second, carbon emissions
are causing the climate to
c hang e i n wa y s and a t
frequencies that are hard to
predict. More than 20 different
billion-dollar weather and
climate disasters took place
during 2021 across the U.S., as
documented by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric
Association (NOAA) . This
provides a snapshot of the
types of events we are seeing
now and what we can expect
more of in the future.
In the geotechnical industry,
climate change has multiple impacts.
Because a lot of work is completed
outside, these more frequent extreme
weather events make it difficult to
88 * DEEP FOUNDATIONS * NOV/DEC 2022
complete projects. This can be because
of air quality that negatively impacts
workers and limits their ability to be
outside, like in the west due to wildfires.
Or it could be because of site access, like
in the Gulf states that see extreme
precipitation and flooding events.
Another way climate change affects
the industry is in design work. Basing
design requirements off historical
norms does not create resilient systems
for the future, especially considering
that what is being experienced now
already looks quite different from the
past. These changes could include
things like the design height for earthen
levees. As the industry tasked with
climate events that limit the geotechnical
industry's ability to work and
decrease the effectiveness and reliability
of what it designs and builds,
shouldn't the industry do its part to help
mitigate the worst of the potential
consequences? By using the carbon calculator,
the deep foundations industry
can measure the embodied carbon of
proposed geotechnical solutions and
then purposefully modify designs and
construction plans to reduce the total
carbon emissions.
Lastly, it seems likely that carbonfocused
regulatory changes are coming
to North America. If the new carbon
reporting requirements proposed by the
Security and Exchange Commission are
approved, many of the industry's
publicly listed clients will need to know
the total embodied carbon of their
projects, which includes the foundation
system. There are also more localized
efforts to decarbonize, including new
climate legislation in Massachusetts
that could lead to requirements to
U.S. billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2021
designing, building and reinforcing
these levees, it is imperative to design
and build to the correct conditions,
which may not be possible without
being confident in what the future
holds from a climate standpoint.
reduce carbon in the building sector. It is
also possible that financing tied to
certain government funded projects, like
climate resiliency infrastructure projects,
will be tied to lower carbon solutions
in the future, as " green " financing

November/December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November/December 2022

TOC
November/December 2022 - Intro
November/December 2022 - 1
November/December 2022 - 2
November/December 2022 - TOC
November/December 2022 - 4
November/December 2022 - 5
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