In the building life cycle embodied carbon is the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the non-operational phase of the project. This includes emissions caused by extraction, manufacture, transportation, assembly, maintenance, replacement, deconstruction, disposal and end of life aspects of the materials and systems that make up a building.
As we build increasingly energy efficient buildings that use less energy to run the proportion of the building’s lifecycle carbon that comes from the embodied carbon becomes more significant.
UK-GBC sees embodied carbon as an increasingly important area for all sectors of the built environment to actively address and are working with their members to assist them in the process of making buildings more resource efficient.
Below are several UK-GBC resources that can help you to understand the role embodied carbon plays in buildings, how to make carbon reductions throughout the building lifecycle during the capital expenditure phase and who within the value chain can take action.
Our latest project, Embodied Carbon: Developing a Client Brief, hones in on the client sector who have the most potential to drive embodied carbon reductions by demanding it on their development projects. This guidance aims to smooth the pathway to embodied carbon measurement and reductions on new developments by providing practical guidance specifically designed to be used by clients in development briefs. It will also identify the different client drivers for using differing metrics, building assessments, calculation methods and provide the rationale in order to make embodied carbon measurement and reduction meaningful to each client organisation.
For more information on this project, please contact Natalia Ford email@example.com.
Below are additional embodied carbon resources from previous UK-GBC events:
- Established the public Embodied Carbon Database on buildings in partnership with WRAP to benchmark embodied carbon on a whole building level
- London 2012 Lessons Learned Guide and Embodied Carbon Learning Legacy Paper
- How to: Measure Embodied Carbon guide
- Embodied Carbon Week 2014 - Report
- Tackling Embodied Carbon in Buildings: a guide for the client sector. Published with support from the Crown Estate.
- Embodied Carbon Conference 2015: Action and Implementation - Conference Review & Speaker presentations
- Case Study: Derwent London's approach to embodied carbon
- Embodied Carbon Vox Pops from Max Fordham LLP, MPA The Concrete Centre, Laing O'Rourke and Land Securities
Other useful resources:
- RICS Professional Statement (draft) on measuring whole life carbon in buildings - in consultation until May 31st 2017.