Morgan Sindall secures £1m to enhance its carbon tool

Morgan Sindall carbon calculator - image of the Little Reddings primary school
Morgan Sindall Construction used its whole life carbon assessment tool on Little Reddings Primary School in Hertfordshire last year.

Morgan Sindall Construction has secured nearly £1m funding from Innovate UK to enhance its whole life carbon assessment (WLCA) tool.

The contractor started developing CarboniCa with Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and Warrington-based software company, ConstructSys, seven years ago and launched it in 2021. The tool highlights elements of the building that will result in higher carbon emissions and suggests lower-carbon alternatives for the client, designers and supply chain, ensuring that environmentally friendly decisions based on robust data can be made.

It is being used on more than 100 large building projects a year. The contractor claimed the tool has saved more than 30,000 tonnes of carbon to date.

The Innovate UK funding will allow the partners to develop algorithms that automate the process of data collection and evaluation in WLCAs, accelerating the process by as much as 85%.

Next steps

Tim Clement, director of social value and sustainability at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We started working on the research and development phase of CarboniCa back in 2017, and the Innovate UK funding award recognises the enormous potential for further development of the tool we have already in service and helping reduce carbon in a transparent, credible way. Innovation in this area has much to contribute in terms of increasing confidence in decision-making around sustainability, something that can only happen with credible data outputs being made more readily available.

“Our next step is building a cutting edge AI engine into a state of the art system that drastically reduces the time taken to produce an accurate WLCA.

“The funding means we can develop a series of new algorithms to exploit the growing dataset of actual project data already inputted into the CarboniCa tool, streamlining the process of creating early-stage benchmarks for different building types. The algorithms will also generate insights based on human-curated product databases, to further the tool’s mission as a carbon reduction tool.”

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