http://www.carbonleadershipforum.org/projects/ec3/

Technology

Free embodied carbon calculator to help move to greener buildings

24 November 2019

A free app for measuring the embodied carbon emissions of building materials is been launched in beta form.

The open-access Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) is based on the industry’s first database of digitised Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and will allow users to easily evaluate and reduce embodied carbon emissions from construction materials, effectively empowering them to reduce embodied carbon within buildings.

It is critical that owners, designers, engineers, contractors and policy makers turn their attention to building materials and seek information that will pave the way to reduce embodied carbon.– Kate Simonen, Carbon Leadership Forum (Image: http://embodiedcarbonnetwork.org)

The building and construction sector has a vital role to play in eliminating carbon, as it is responsible for nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

It has been reported that embodied carbon will be responsible for almost half of total new construction emissions between now and 2050. Unlike operational carbon emissions, which can be reduced over time with building energy-efficiency renovations and the use of renewable energy, embodied carbon emissions are locked in as soon as a building is built.

“It is critical that owners, designers, engineers, contractors and policy makers turn their attention to building materials and seek information that will pave the way to reduce embodied carbon,” said Kate Simonen, director of the Carbon Leadership Forum and professor in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington.

“Recognising this imperative, the Carbon Leadership Forum and nearly 50 industry leaders came together to offer their expertise, committed to a tool that was free to use and part of a growing open-access embodied carbon data ecosystem.”

A number of multinationals have worked with the Carbon Leadership Forum to produce the tool, including Autodesk in collaboration with Skanska, C Change Labs and nearly 50 other partners.

The EC3 tool is the first free tool that allows for supply chain specific analysis of embodied carbon data, using the first searchable and sortable database of all US and Canadian Environmental Product Declarations for concrete, steel, wood, glass, aluminium, insulation, gypsum, carpet and ceiling tiles.

In addition, it is the first tool to create a digital EPD form and to translate all EPDs into that form for viewing and analysing the data, rather than using PDF-based systems.