Shoshanna Saxe

Shoshanna Saxe

Civil and Mineral Engineering


Research Focus: Buildings


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Research Projects

A Fine-Grained Dataset of Material Usage in Buildings to Increase Material Efficiency

“I'm studying material use in new construction in cities, focusing on low-rise, high-density residential buildings. This work is motivated by simultaneous crises in housing availability and environmental degradation partly due to resource overuse. It forms part of an ongoing project in Professor Shoshanna Saxe’s group to identify existing options for building and city design that reduce material demand while maintaining function. Presently, data available in this field is very poor, limiting possible studies. My work focuses on developing the world’s first image-based infrastructure material analysis data set, with over a hundred buildings measured thus far.”

Material Intensity of Building and Embodied GHG Emissions

My role includes studying building drawings, completing material take offs, contributing to building the material use database and supporting academic paper writing. I develop detailed models from drawings of real buildings to facilitate material quantification and embodied GHG assessment. This work is done in Masterformat and Uniformat to categorize building elements consistently.

Embodied carbon intensity reduction of single-family dwellings in the City of Toronto

Aldrick’s research advances housing design and relevant policies to build homes with less embodied carbon. His research will quantify the influence on embodied carbon of built form and material selection and will quantify the power to change carbon emissions through design choices. The research will be Toronto focused but the findings will have broad application, in particular to locations that build using similar styles and techniques (e.g., Eastern Canada and Northern US). Aldrick is a fourth-year PhD candidate with the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering. He finds interest in Industrial Ecology tools including Life Cycle Assessment and Material Flow Analysis, and he hopes to apply these methods to help solve problems related to zero-carbon buildings and circularity in the construction sector.