A CARBON CALCULATION tool for the construction and infrastructure industries has been created by Balfour Beatty, in collaboration with Innovate UK, Leeds Beckett University, Hertfordshire University and White Frog Publishing. It offers a consistent, practical solution for the measurement of embodied carbon, the company says.
Currently in its beta testing phase, the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator automatically links BIM data to embodied carbon data. The data is from the Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) database. This provides energy and embodied carbon information for construction materials.
The AutoBIM Carbon Calculator also allows users to input information from environmental product declarations sheets. These are verified and registered documents providing comparable data about the environmental impact throughout the lifecycle of a product or material.
Low Carbon Design
The platform will support teams during the design phase of a project to compare products and materials. It will provide alternative solutions and ultimately help make informed, low carbon decisions.
The creation of the platform follows Balfour Beatty’s sustainability strategy ‘Building New Futures’ launch last year. The AutoBIM Carbon Calculator marks another step forward in Balfour Beatty’s journey to going beyond net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, the company says.
Rachel Sudlow, Balfour Beatty Strategic Improvement Project Manager, said:
“The construction and infrastructure industry has previously struggled to offer a consistent approach when it comes to the measurement of embodied carbon.
“That is why we have collaborated with leading industry experts to create the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator which will make a real and positive difference to how our industry operates. The introduction of such a tool is long overdue. With the impact of our work on the environment front of mind, it is a truly welcomed development.”
AutoBIM Carbon Calculator Trialling
The AutoBIM Carbon Calculator is currently being trialled across four of Balfour Beatty’s projects. Trials include The Institute of Regeneration and Repair at the University of Edinburgh. To which the company was appointed in 2019 through the SCAPE Civil Engineering framework. During trials on live projects, the use of this tool has evidenced a potential saving of up to 14% embodied carbon. This is through more informed design choices.
A phased roll-out across Balfour Beatty’s projects over the next six months is planned. The AutoBIM Carbon Calculator will be available to the wider industry within the next 12 months. Along with plans to expand the Calculator to measure the energy performance of products and materials post completion.