New tool lets cost managers keep tabs on embodied carbon

A new tool has been launched that allows cost managers to measure the level of embodied carbon associated with projects.

The Embodied Carbon Calculator, developed by global professional services company Turner & Townsend, enables cost managers to evaluate the carbon footprint of projects they are working on, from the design stage to completion.

Primarily, the tool lets cost managers look at the environmental and economic impact of their projects, and helps them to “benchmark, model and track” the carbon value of materials.

Turner & Townsend has called for a “fundamental re-evaluation” of the role of cost managers, flagging them as potentially fundamental to tackling the industry’s net-zero ambitions.

The tool has been designed to follow established project planning stages, starting from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) stage 2.

It aligns with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) New Rules of Measurement 1 (NRM1) and third-party standards, such as the UK Green Building Council. Performance is also benchmarked against industry targets proposed by LETI.

Turner & Townsend UK managing director Patricia Moore said the calculator would enable cost managers to keep on top of costs and embodied carbon while working on projects.

She added: “The investment we have made in our digital capability has enabled us to build an application that can provide consistent and accurate assessments of a project’s embodied carbon count from an early design stage.

“This will play a vital part in our clients’ journey towards a robust, measurable net-zero ambition. Unlocking innovation like this is key to ensuring that our industry is part of the solution to tackling the pressing social, environmental and economic challenges we face.”

The company said it is looking to develop the tool so that it can measure operational carbon to provide “a digitally-enabled whole-life carbon capability”.

RICS construction and infrastructure management senior specialist Matthew Collins said: “Turner & Townsend’s calculator is exactly what the industry needs to help bring the impacts of embodied carbon to the forefront of discussions with clients and end-users.

“Enabling the embodied carbon of project designs across all stages, to be measured in accordance with the RICS Professional Statement in Whole Life Carbon Assessment and reported in a consistent way, will allow more informed decisions to be made with respect to cost and carbon.

“This will help achieve the governmental targets around net zero, which have been set both nationally and internationally.”

Last month, the founder of carbon consultancy group Targeting Zero, Simon Sturgis, warned that firms needed greater advice on performing whole-life carbon assessments to ensure they meet net-zero targets.

Leave a comment