Turner & Townsend develops Embodied Carbon Calculator

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Tool designed to evaluate carbon footprint of projects across the full cycle of the construction process


Turner & Townsend has developed a bespoke carbon accounting tool which is designed to enable clients to evaluate the carbon footprint of projects from an early design stage, covering cradle to practical completion of the product and construction process.

With its ‘Embodied Carbon Calculator’ Turner & Townsend is also calling for a fundamental re-evaluation of the role of the cost manager allowing them to benchmark, model and track carbon values for materials across the full cycle of a construction process.

The proprietary software fully integrates with the global consultancy’s existing benchmarking and cost planning applications, incorporating the management of carbon as a currency seamlessly with its capital equivalent. Both currencies are managed in parallel via the same custom application.

“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,” said Patricia Moore, UK managing director, Turner & Townsend. “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 Embodied Carbon Calculator is designed to follow established project planning stages, starting from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) stage 2. It aligns with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) New Rules of Measurement 1 (NRM1) and third-party standards such as the UK Green Building Council, as well as benchmarking performance against industry targets proposed by LETI.

“Turner & Townsend’s Embodied Carbon 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,” says Matthew Collins, senior specialist – construction & infrastructure management, RICS, “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.”

The next step in the development of the tool will be to measure operational carbon to provide Turner & Townsend with a digitally enabled whole life carbon capability.

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