The goal of the EC3 tool project is to transform building construction by transparently measuring, comparing, and reducing embodied carbon emissions from construction materials. Each year, the built environment contributes almost 40% of CO2 emissions worldwide, and it is estimated that there will be a doubling of the amount of building floorspace in the next 40 years. At least half of the carbon footprint of these new buildings will take the form of embodied carbon — the emissions associated with building construction, including extracting, transporting, manufacturing and installing building materials. As a result, owners, designers, engineers and contractors are turning their attention to building materials and seeking information on these products so they can make informed, smart choices. This task has been fraught with the problems – from the lack of data to data too complex to evaluate. In response to this problem, the EC3 tool would enable the building industry to easily access and view material carbon emissions data.
MKA joined the Charles Pankow Foundation to support the advancements of non-proprietary research enabling innovation in design and construction for the built environment. We are excited about the level of enthusiasm and diversity of partners that are working toward a shared mission to reduce manufacturing emissions of building materials. The EC3 tool is the right tool at the right time. The EC3 tool creates the ecosystem that rewards the lower carbon building solutions and material suppliers. We can now more easily identify those win/win scenarios where by picking the right suppliers, we can lower our carbon footprint without adding costs.
MKA is currently supporting the development of a North American Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) database of high impact building materials. Like the approach taken for the EPD database that supports the EC3 tool, this additional research will create a free and accessible database. The LCI database will be available for use in early design modeling software, so embodied carbon can be analyzed alongside design decisions on choice of building material and optimization of systems.
|RESEARCH TITLE:||Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3)|
|LOCATION:|| University of Washington
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
|PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS:|| Phil Northcott, C Change Labs
Kathrina Simonen, Carbon Leadership Forum
Stacy Smedley, Skanska
|MKA CONTRIBUTORS:||Don Davies, P.E., S.E.|
|INDUSTRY PARTNERS:|| Charles Pankow Foundation
American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)
|STATUS:|| Launched at Greenbuild in November 2019
Ongoing research on LCI Database of High Impact Building Materials
||Embodied Carbon Calculator in Construction Website|
||Carbon Leadership Forum: Wood Carbon Seminar|