Construction Carbon Calculator

Update:  see latest post Construction Carbon Calculator – no more excuses for best yet calculator 

Zero Champion in a recent post poses the question ‘How the hell do we measure our carbon footprint‘?

Businesses need a single, unified standard for displaying the carbon impact of their activities to ensure companies can see a visible competitive advantage to sustainable development.

This made me think and look around for a construction process carbon calculator – and surprisingly did not find too many, and most linked to some carbon offsetting (carbon off-putting) scheme, which makes me doubt the formula being used.

If you want to take a look at a couple :

C Level has a calculator, but lacks many energy aspects (fuel on site, small tool and lighting, office energy and resources) and is linked to their off setting scheme. C Level lists constructing excellence as one of its customers.

Over in the states BuildCarbonNeutral has an interesting approach focusing on the embodied energy released through construction and the life of a building. It also contains the following comments

13-18% of the total embodied carbon footprint of any construction project (UNEP, 2007) and 100% of the total embodied carbon footprint of any landscape project is released the year the project is built or installed. The remainder of the carbon footprint is the operational carbon released and the landscape carbon sequestered over the life of the project.


Embodied construction carbon is a more significant factor than air travel, and has an equally immediate impact.

Gulp !

Does anybody out there know of any reliable, unbaised (ie not linked to carbon offsetting schemes) for the construction process?

8 thoughts on “Construction Carbon Calculator

  1. Warren Knox

    This is a wonderful question, and one I hope the whole industry imbraces. I do not know of a simple calculator as yet, but a lot of work has already been done in Australia and England. The relevant terms are “Embodied Energy” and “Embodied Carbon”.

    Embodied Energy is the sum total of all the energy required to make the product from “cradle to gate”, that is from raw materials to go out the manufacturing gate. A better analysis would include “cradle to (construction) site” but not much has been done here. “Cradle to site” must include both energy and carbon costs of transportion method and distance per unit of material. Transportation by rail is seven time better than by truck, and transportation by water (barge or ship) is significantly better than rail.

    Embodied Carbon is the sum total of all the CO2 release to the environment during the cradle to gate manufacturing. Together these two measure the “carbon footpring”.

    Tabulation of these numbers for many construction materials can be found at:


    Right now it is a lot of work, but it the analysis does really give the total long term cost of any project.



  2. Pingback: isite stats - carbon issues dominate « isite

  3. Pingback: Solar building design « isite

  4. Pingback: isite ound up « isite

  5. the construction experts

    This design is wicked! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained.

    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost.
    ..HaHa!) Excellent job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!



Please add your comments:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s