Embodied Carbon Calculation Exercise

We need to eliminate the carbon footprint of our designs to prevent the climate emergency. In order to be able to reduce the carbon footprint, we need to be able to calculate it first. If you are interested in learning about Whole Life Carbon (WLC) Assessment, this is an exercise I’ve made to introduce calculating embodied carbon.

The exercise is uses a simple frame, with 4 types of elements (foundations, slabs, columns and staircase) and one material to introduce designers to calculation process. You can complete this by hand, using the spreadsheet or whatever carbon calculation software you have access to.

Step 1: Download the Exercise

Download the drawing and a template for reporting (in line with the 2020 GLA draft reporting guidance):

STEP 2: Calculate the mass and Volume

Start to complete the table adding the material information for the different elements; material, volume and weights

Step 3: Add the CArbon Coefficients

Add carbon coefficients for each of the different modules using values from the ICE database, LETI or whatever source you have available. I gave a lecture on the process for the engineering club here.

The embodied carbon can vary between locations and suppliers. The Embodied Carbon Calculation Group [ECCG] have been working on this exercise and the IStructE have been very supportive and will be publishing the results.

If you work through the exercise, please fill in this form. It would be great to have your thoughts and if you could share your results so we can continue to develop this.