CBE Research Portal

May 15, 2019

Embodied Carbon in Construction (EC3)

The Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool, is a FREE and EASY TO USE tool that allows benchmarking, assessment and reductions in embodied carbon per material category, focused on the upfront (Stage A1-A3) supply chain emissions of construction materials. Now hosted and managed by Building Transparency, a new 501c3 organization, the EC3 tool was incubated at the Carbon Leadership Forum with input from nearly 50 industry partners.

The tool utilizes building material quantities from construction estimates and/or BIM models and a robust database of digital, third-party verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Powered by this data, the EC3 tool can be implemented in both the late design and procurement phases of a construction project to look at a project’s embodied carbon emissions per material category in EC3, enabling the specification and procurement of low carbon options. The tool is not intended to replace whole building life cycle assessment (WBLCA), but to fill the gap between early design assessments at the systems level using available WBLCA tools and the actual procurement of low carbon products and realization of embodied carbon reductions within each material category.

The EC3 tool also allows owners, green building certification programs and policymakers to assess supply chain data in order to create EPD requirements, and set project level embodied carbon reductions per material category.