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BSRIA launches guide to embodied carbon

13 January 2011

BSRIA’s new technical guide gives an account of why it is necessary to account for embodied carbon in construction.

The IGT report released November 2011, edited by Chief Construction Advisor Paul Morrell, recommended that the Treasury introduces a requirement to conduct whole life (embodied and operational) carbon appraisal into feasibility studies and industry should agree with government a standard method of measuring embodied carbon.
This BSRIA guide, produced in conjunction with the University of Bath, supports these recommendations and aims to fulfil two objectives.
1.It aims to provide the industry with the necessary data. It presents a substantial amount of raw data (1800 records of embodied carbon for 35 classes of material) in a way that is readily usable in calculations. The inventory has been collated from independent sources and open literature and has been rigorously analysed to give users confidence in the reliability of the values.
2.It focuses on how the construction industry can incorporate an evaluation of embodied carbon into the design process. Case studies are used to demonstrate how embodied costs can be calculated and hence enable informed choices about materials selection.
Dr Phillip Lee, Member of the Select Committee for Energy and Climate Change, 2010 states: "We are all very familiar with the targets for reducing carbon. Another important factor in the climate change argument that we must take into account is the carbon in materials used in construction. The report provides a lot of data and points you to lots more. This report is a welcome contribution to the development of this knowledge."
Copies of Embodied Carbon; The Inventory of Carbon and Energy (BG10/2011) are now available at £30 to BSRIA members and £60 to non-members.


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