The Need – Why the Embodied Carbon Metric?
Davis Langdon believes, as well as operational efficiencies, embodied greenhouse gas emissions in new developments will be one of the biggest challenges facing the property and construction industry over the next decade. In order to overcome the difficulty of determining a project’s carbon footprint, Davis Langdon has developed an embodied carbon calculator – the Embodied Carbon Metric (ECM).
Emissions from the manufacturing and construction industries were accountable for 24.4% of the world’s total emissions in 2005 according to the World Resources Institute . Prominent contributors to this sector total include:
- cement industry (20%)
- chemicals and petrochemicals industry (17%)
- iron and steel industry (16%)
- aluminium/non-ferrous metals (5%)
According to the Centre for International Economics Canberra & Sydney (2007), 23% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions are a result of energy demand in the building sector. Studies further suggest the embodied energy in buildings may be equivalent to 11-23 years worth of operational energy.
The Embodied Carbon Metric - What is it?
The concept is based on the award winning Davis Langdon UK carbon tool, the Carbon Ready Reckoner, which was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Building in the International and Innovative Research Awards 2008/09.
The ECM calculates emissions based on Australian specific emission factors derived using a life cycle, cradle to gate, approach. This includes emissions from the extraction of raw materials, primary energy sources, manufacture and transport. We have invested heavily in establishing key life cycle assessment based Australian data for building materials.
Information on the embodied carbon content of many construction materials and processes has, until now, not been readily available in a format which can be used during the design process. The ECM will help avoid higher than desired carbon content and additional costs by enabling selection of construction materials in the design process that reduce a development’s overall carbon footprint.
Davis Langdon’s ECM enables this imperative measurement, allowing developers and design consultants to use optimal materials and practices to achieve a low carbon outcome.
For more information:
The Road to ‘Green Property’ E-Book - click image on right.
'Glass of Water Life Cycle Assessment' Video - click link on right.
The Road to 'Green Property' PDF - click here.
Image supplied by Geodynamics Limited. Geodynamics Habanero 3 well flowing steam and water at surface during March 2008.