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Chartered surveyor Rics has published a methodology to calculate the total carbon emitted by a building, known as embodied carbon, across the property’s lifecycle from construction to demolition. The measurement is a crucial development in the world of carbon accounting as embodied carbon is increasingly becoming a more significant part of the overall carbon burden for properties.
Embodied carbon levels often reach up to 70 per cent of the total carbon in very low-energy thermal mass buildings, which are made up of materials such as brick, concrete, stone and tile, reducing the operational energy. If embodied carbon is not considered, properties such as these may not become carbon positive for more than years, spoiling the savings made during their operation and making them unsustainable in the long term.
For building professionals, most notably chartered surveyors, the methodology provides a fuller understanding of the impact of decisions made at the design and construction stage on the whole life carbon emissions for a building.
By focussing on the carbon-significant items, surveyors will be able to provide advice on the different design options, looking at carbon as well as the cost, to provide the best and most balanced solutions. This will increasingly become a vital tool in surveyors’ armoury as the need to reduce emissions becomes vital to combat the effects of climate change.
“Our newly published methodology is an exciting step in the world of carbon accounting, measuring the total carbon emitted for a building across the property lifecycle,” said Martin Russell-Croucher, Rics Director of Special Projects and Sustainability.
“Embodied carbon is an increasingly significant part of the overall carbon burden in properties and should be considered as part of the design and construction phases of a building.”
Source: Property Weekly