Kate Simonen

Kate Simonen

FAIA, SE, FIstructE (Hon)

Kathrina (Kate) Simonen is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Washington, founder and board chair of the nonprofit Carbon Leadership Forum and leader of the Life Cycle Lab. Licensed as an architect and structural engineer, she connects significant professional experience in high performance building design and technical expertise in environmental life cycle assessment working to accelerate the transformation of the building sector to radically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions attributed to materials (also known as embodied carbon) used in buildings and infrastructure.

She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, an honorary fellow of the UK’s Institution of Structural Engineers and was named Engineering News Record Top 25 Newsmaker in 2020 for her impact rallying industry to reduce embodied carbon. Taking an entrepreneurial approach to academic work she helped launch two successful nonprofits, CLF and Building Transparency; spurred the formation of two embodied carbon commitment programs, SE2050 and MEP 2040; and develops and sustains networks of individuals and organizations working together to harmonize and optimize embodied carbon actions.

UW’s Life Cycle Lab is focused on supporting the next generation of researchers and pursuing critical research to advance life cycle assessment (LCA) data, methods and approaches. The research that we pursue aims to fill challenging knowledge gaps in order to inform impactful policies that support the integration of life cycle thinking, LCA findings and decarbonization strategies to implement into practice today.



Huang, M.; Simonen, K. (2020). Comparative Environmental Analysis Of Seismic Damage In Buildings. Journal Of Structural Engineering, 146(2). View Publication

Adhikari, Pramodit; Mahmoud, Hussam; Xie, Aiwen; Simonen, Kathrina; Ellingwood, Bruce. (2020). Life-cycle Cost And Carbon Footprint Analysis For Light-framed Residential Buildings Subjected To Tornado Hazard. Journal Of Building Engineering, 32. View Publication

Rodriguez, Barbara X.; Huang, Monica; Lee, Hyun Woo; Simonen, Kathrina; Ditto, Jim. (2020). Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing And Tenant Improvements Over The Building Lifetime: Estimating Material Quantities And Embodied Carbon For Climate Change Mitigation. Energy And Buildings, 226. View Publication

Ianchenko, Alex; Simonen, Kathrina; Barnes, Clayton. (2020). Residential Building Lifespan And Community Turnover. Journal Of Architectural Engineering, 26(3). View Publication


Rodriguez, Barbara X.; Simonen, Kathrina; Huang, Monica; De Wolf, Catherine. (2019). A Taxonomy For Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (wblca). Smart And Sustainable Built Environment, 8(3), 190 - 205. View Publication

Pierobon, Francesca; Huang, Monica; Simonen, Kathrina; Ganguly, Indroneil. (2019). Environmental Benefits Of Using Hybrid Clt Structure In Midrise Non-residential Construction: An Lca Based Comparative Case Study In The U.s. Pacific Northwest. Journal Of Building Engineering, 26. View Publication


Simonen, K.; Huang, M.; Aicher, C.; Morris, P. (2018). Embodied Carbon As A Proxy For The Environmental Impact Of Earthquake Damage Repair. Energy And Buildings, 164, 131 - 139. View Publication