On September 23, 2019, the Carbon Leadership Forum announced the release of a visionary new tool to evaluate the carbon emissions of building materials during the design process. As the impact of embodied carbon has become more widely recognized, the tool was developed in partnership with more than 30 industry leaders with the objective of reducing the carbon footprint of building materials.
Embodied carbon refers to the emissions associated with building material manufacturing and construction. The Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (called EC3) is an open-source tool for architects, engineers, building owners, construction companies, material suppliers, et al that allows them to compare the embodied carbon of different construction materials and make selections that reduce those emissions. As new construction continues to accelerate across the country and around the world, empowering the industry to make positive change to reduce harmful emissions is extremely important.
KieranTimberlake acted as an EC3 tool methodology partner in this effort, with KT Innovation's Tally® functioning as a technology partner. Tally was created in 2013 as a software tool to allow designers and other users to evaluate the environmental impacts of their building material selections and design options. The developers of Tally and EC3 worked together to enable a bill of materials generated in Tally to be imported directly into EC3, where the imported materials are matched to manufacturer-specific products and associated embodied carbon figures based on Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).
The assignment of a specific manufacturer product or procurement spec in EC3 ensures the intent of the Tally Life Cycle Analysis is carried through to the completed project, resulting in reduction of embodied carbon and bringing carbon accountability to the building material supply chain. We are looking forward to adding this powerful tool to our practice—in combination with Tally—to further lower the embodied carbon of our projects.
The EC3 tool was demonstrated during Greenbuild 2019 in Atlanta and released in November 2019. The public beta version can be accessed at http://buildingtransparency.org/auth/register.