A method of measuring embodied carbon has been launched by RICS today.
Its paper Methodology to Measure Embodied Carbon of Materials, a direct response to the government’s June 2011 Low Carbon Construction Action Plan, details these measures.
The action plan called for embodied carbon to be considered on building projects in addition to the existing measurements surrounding operational carbon. To achieve this aim, a standard method of measuring embodied emissions is needed.
The RICS paper aims to do just that and is aimed at quantity surveyors, building surveyors, building control surveyors and project managers. It establishes a practical approach to measuring embodied carbon and its methodology has been developed after an industry-wide consultation which saw an unprecedented response from stakeholders and industry bodies.
Lead author of the paper Sean Lockie said: "Embodied carbon is really significant because it is carbon emissions we emit today through manufacturing the products we use on our projects. In construction, carbon is emitted during the construction process through the extraction and processing of resources to make building materials like cement, bricks and glass.”
Gareth Roberts, director of Sturgis Carbon Profiling told Greenbuild: “This is a good follow up to our original report we wrote to the RICS called Redefining Zero which set about exposing the size and importance of embodied carbon, Sean Lockie's paper provides good simple advice as to how to calculate embodied carbon.
“It does not however deal with issues such as the lifespan and the interdependence of embodied carbon which can in some circumstances lead to some unintended consequences through over specification or the incorrect selection of materials for a given task.
He added: “Let’s hope this paper acts as a wake up call to not just the quantity surveyors it is written for but also other construction professions such as architects, structural engineer and M&E consultants who may find this advice useful in understanding the basics of embodied carbon calculation and that no great myths exist in the form of its calculation.”
Pick up the October issue of Greenbuild to read an interview with Simon Sturgis, managing director of Sturgis Carbon Profiling, on carbon profiling, the dangers of overlooking embodied emissions and how the construction industry will be redressing the embodied vs. operational balance. Click here for a free subscription.
For more information email RICS. firstname.lastname@example.org
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