Carbon Leadership Forum

November 21, 2019

Data to Drive Reductions: Microsoft Partners to Deliver a Free Tool to Reduce Embodied Carbon in Construction

Climate change is an urgent issue that demands global action.

For the building sector, this action is especially needed, as buildings emit 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. This is partially because building operations and materials incur higher emissions than those of other sectors, but it’s also because builders haven’t had the right tools to enact change.

For years, building industry professionals found it difficult to reduce the carbon footprint of their projects because it was challenging to measure and monitor the most elusive part of their emissions: the embodied carbon. This includes the extraction, transport, and manufacturing of building materials such as steel, concrete, rebar, gypsum board, and more.

Now, a new tool exists to solve that exact problem. Alongside industry partners, Microsoft is proud to share the launch of The Embodied Carbon Calculator in Construction (EC3) tool: a free, open-access tool that anyone can use to assess the embodied carbon within a building’s potential construction materials. Created in partnership with the Carbon Leadership Forum, Skanska USA and C Change Labs, piloted by Microsoft and running on Azure, the tool makes it possible to evaluate carbon emissions alongside traditional financial cost analysis when making construction decisions.

Operating as a searchable database, the tool is pre-populated with data on more than 16,000 building materials, categorized by performance requirements, design specification, project location, and global warming potential. The data is then aggregated by the tool, helping architects, engineers, and commercial real estate users create more informed plans to mitigate emissions.

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