New EC3 tool allows access to carbon emissions data

The Carbon Leadership Forum launched the EC3 tool.

The Carbon Leadership Forum, in partnership with a coalition of more than 30 building industry leaders, have launched the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool, an open source tool for the A&D community, building material suppliers and policy makers to compare and reduce embodied carbon emissions from construction materials. 

Between now and 2060, the world’s population will be doubling the amount of building floorspace, equivalent to building an entire New York City every month for 40 years, according to the forum. Most of the carbon footprint of these new buildings will take the form of embodied carbon — the emissions associated with building material manufacturing and construction. In response to this problem, Skanska USA and C Change Labs conceived of a solution that would enable the building industry to easily access and view material carbon emissions data, allowing them to make carbon smart choices during material specification and procurement.

The EC3 tool, an open-source tool, will allow users to easily see the embodied carbon impacts of the materials before consumption. Now, users will have the information they need to make more informed decisions on embodied carbon, allowing them to enact positive change. Details on the EC3 tool will be made available November 2019. Collaborating partners will be demonstrating the product at Greenbuild, November 19-22, 2019 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga.

“Our mission is to accelerate the transformation of the building sector to radically reduce embodied carbon,” said Kate Simonen, director of the Carbon Leadership Forum and professor in the College of the Built Environments at the University of Washington. “The EC3 tool is a great example of what can happen when our passionate and collaborative network comes together around a need.”

Initial development was jointly funded by Skanska and Microsoft, who determined that an open platform would provide maximum impact for the industry and society at large. To accelerate development of this solution, the Carbon Leadership Forum incubated the project with strong leadership and additional financial support from Interface, Autodesk, the MKA Foundation and the Charles Pankow Foundation, lead sponsor and grant manager. Subsequently, more than 30 other industry-leaders joined in. View the full list of collaborators here.

(Photo: Arup used whole-building life-cycle assessment to help reduce the embodied carbon of the new Mexico City Airport.)

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