Between now and 2060 the world’s population will be doubling the amount of building floor space, equivalent to building an entire New York City every month for 40 years. Most of the carbon footprint of these new buildings will take the form of embodied carbon—the emissions associated with building material manufacturing and construction.
This reality is causing the AECO industry to turn their attention to information on building materials in order to make smarter choices with respect to addressing carbon emissions. This task, of course, has been fraught with challenges, including a lack of data and complexity.
The Carbon Leadership Forum
However, Skanska USA and C Change Labs have conceived of a solution that would enable the building industry to easily access and view material carbon emissions data, helping them make smarter choices during the material selection specification and procurement processes.
Skanska and Microsoft jointly funded the early development of this open platform project. To help it grow faster the Carbon Leadership Forum incubated the project with strong leadership and additional financial support from Autodesk, Interface, the MKA Foundation and the Charles Pankow Foundation, lead sponsor and grant manager. Subsequently, a coalition of 30 more companies joined in.
Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3)
This coalition of industry leaders has announced they have now conquered a long-elusive goal— measuring and reducing the carbon footprint of building materials.
The result is the new Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3). This is an open-source tool for architects, engineers, building owner-operators, and construction companies.
“Our mission is to accelerate the transformation of the building sector to radically reduce embodied carbon,” said Kate Simonen, director of the Carbon Leadership Forum and professor in the College of the Built Environments at the University of Washington. “The EC3 tool is a great example of what can happen when our passionate and collaborative network comes together around a need.”
The EC3 tool, an open-source tool, simplifies this complex problem and will allow users to easily see the embodied carbon impacts of the materials before consumption. Now users will have the information they need to make more informed decisions on embodied carbon, allowing them to enact positive change. Details on the EC3 tool will be made available, November 2019. Collaborating partners will be demonstrating the product at Greenbuild, November 19-22, 2019 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA.
And Now a Word From Bill Gates
Microsoft was one of the founding companies and spearheaders behind the new resultant EC3 tool for the AECO industry. Listen to his comments here.
Readers can also view the World Green Building Council report ‘Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront’, released 23 September 2019 here.