The carbon footprint of any building can be broken down into two subsets—embodied carbon and operational carbon. Embodied carbon is all the carbon footprint associated with the materials before they come onsite, as they are being fabricated and installed, and after they leave and are disposed of. Sources include greenhouse gas emissions associated with extraction of raw materials, transport of those materials from place to place during refinement, fabrication and delivery, and then operations to remove and dispose or recycle at the end of service life.
Operational carbon is the carbon footprint of the energy used onsite to power the building’s operation. Also listed in this category would be the footprint of energy used offsite to provide water and dispose of sewage and other waste.