The Carbon Leadership Forum, in partnership with a coalition of more than 30 building industry leaders, announced that they have taken on a long-elusive goal, measuring and reducing the carbon footprint of building materials. The result is the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool, an open source tool for architects, engineers, owners, construction companies, building material suppliers and policy makers to compare and reduce embodied carbon emissions from construction materials.
Between now and 2060, the world’s population will be doubling the amount of building floorspace, 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. As a result, owners, designers, engineers and contractors are turning their attention to building materials and seeking information on these products so they can make informed, smart choices. This task has been sometimes difficult due to the lack of data or data too complex to effectively evaluate.
In response, Skanska USA and C Change Labs conceived of a solution that would enable the building industry to easily access and view material carbon emissions data, allowing them to make carbon smart choices during material specification and procurement. Initial development was jointly funded by Skanska and Microsoft, who determined that an open platform would provide maximum impact for the industry and society at large. To accelerate development of this solution, 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, more than 30 other industry-leaders have also added their support.
“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.”
Industry sponsors include: Charles Pankow Foundation (Grant Administrator); Pilot Partners: Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Microsoft, Perkins and Will, Port of Seattle, Skanska USA, Walter P Moore and Associates, Inc., and Webcor; Association Partners: American Concrete Institute (ACI) Foundation, American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the BlueGreen Alliance; and Material Partners: Armstrong Ceiling and Wall Solutions, BASF Corporation, CarbonCure Technologies, Interface, Inc., Kingspan Group, and USG Corporation.
Additional support is provided by Technology Partners including: Autodesk, Climate Earth, Sustainable Minds and Tally; EC3 Tool Methodology Partners: Arup, Brightworks Sustainability, Central Concrete Supply Co., Inc., Climate Earth, Katerra, KieranTimberlake, LeMessurierr, LMN Architects, National Ready Mixed Concrete Co., Owens Corning, Thornton Tomasetti, Urban Fabrick, WAP Sustainability and WRNS Studio.
For more information, visit www.carbonleadershipforum.org.