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New tool allows users to learn how to reduce embodied carbon

Codes and Standards

New tool allows users to learn how to reduce embodied carbon

Calculator delivers first digitized EPDs.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | December 2, 2019

Courtesy Pixabay

A public beta version of a new tool that enables users to learn how building and infrastructure projects can “radically reduce embodied carbon” was released at Greenbuild this month.

The Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (“EC3”) delivers the first digitized EPDs for construction materials in a platform designed to accelerate early adoption, according to a news release from the Carbon Leadership Forum. The free, open-access tool is based on the industry’s first database of digitized Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

Unlike operational carbon emissions, which can be reduced over time with building energy-efficiency renovations and the use of renewable energy, embodied carbon emissions are locked in place as soon as a building is built. Embodied carbon will be responsible for almost half of total new construction emissions between now and 2050, according to Architecture 2030.

EC3 is the first free tool that allows for supply chain-specific analysis of embodied carbon data, using the first searchable and sortable database of all United States and Canadian Environmental Product Declarations for concrete, steel, wood, glass, aluminum, insulation, gypsum, carpet, and ceiling tiles. It is the first tool to create a digital EPD form and to translate all EPDs into that form for viewing and analyzing data. Previously, users had to work with PDF-based EPDs.

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