Climate Friday | The importance of the Embodied Carbon Calculator

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In the second of our Climate Friday series, Structures Director Toby Ronalds explains the importance of our Embodied Carbon Calculator and how it is impacting every aspect of our work.

“At Eckersley O’Callaghan, our buildings mean the world to us, but we don’t want the world to pay for our buildings.

This is why at EOC, our Embodied Carbon Calculator has become a key part of our conceptual design work, enabling us to put embodied carbon alongside cost, aesthetics and functionality in the project team’s appraisal of structural options.

In developing this tool over the last two years we have learnt a lot about the embodied carbon impact of our design work both current and past.

However, the push towards a more sustainable future cannot be done alone and this is why we actively encourage sustainability knowledge sharing across the industry.

In addition to signing the #StructuralEngineersDeclare pledge, our engineering team has enjoyed being part of a number of sessions to compare and share embodied carbon calculators with other engineers, architects and students. The sessions were led by the Engineering Club, a body which embraces upskilling and collaborative working for the common good across the industry.

By using the carbon calculator at the concept design stage it has become a key part of shaping both a client’s aspirations and budgets, and frequently, the structural approach. We can then combine our embodied carbon information with an understanding of operational and whole life carbon working hand in hand with M&E engineers. This allows us to make key decisions about a building’s structure at this early stage that work holistically.

Accurate cost information to support these option studies is also vital in enabling clients to make educated decisions and we enjoy working proactively with quantity surveyors to work out how we can lower embodied carbon of our projects within our client’s budgets.”