Balfour plans carbon calculator to inform design choices

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Balfour Beatty is to introduce a new carbon calculation tool that it claims can offer embodied carbon savings of up to 14% through better design choices.

Currently in its beta testing phase on four Balfour sites, the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator automatically links BIM data to embodied carbon data from the Inventory of Carbon and Energy database, an online source that provides energy and embodied carbon information for construction materials.

In addition, the calculator also allows users to input information from environmental product declarations sheets, verified and registered documents that provide transparent and comparable data about the environmental impact throughout the lifecycle of a product or material.

The calculator will support teams during the design phase of a project to compare products and materials, provide alternative solutions and ultimately help those involved make informed, low carbon decisions.

Following a phased roll-out across Balfour Beatty’s projects over the next six months, the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator will be available to the wider industry within the next 12 months with plans to expand the remit of the Calculator to measure the energy performance of products and materials post completion.

The calculator was developed by Balfour in collaboration with Innovate UK, Leeds Beckett University, Hertfordshire University and White Frog Publishing.

Rachel Sudlow, Balfour Beatty strategic improvement project manager, said: “The construction and infrastructure industry has previously struggled to offer a consistent approach when it comes to the measurement of embodied carbon.

“That is why we have collaborated with leading industry experts to create the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator, which will make a real and positive difference to how our industry operates. The introduction of such a tool is long overdue and with the impact of our work on the environment front of mind, it is a truly welcomed development.”

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