What is CARBON FOOTPRINT?
The carbon footprint of a building or infrastructure is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted over the life cycle of that building, expressed as kilograms of CO2 equivalents. This includes all greenhouse gases generated in the manufacture of the raw materials, construction of the building, transport of materials to the construction site, operation of the building, periodic refurbishment and replacement of materials, and end-of-life disposal of the building materials. The life cycle carbon footprint of a building or infrastructure system is a crucial performance metric that should be monitored and optimized.
The Royal Institute Chartered of Surveyor (RICS) has draft a methodology for the calculation of embodied carbon as a part of the life cycle carbon emissions for a building.
Embodied carbon: Carbon emissions associated with energy consumption (embodied energy) and chemical processes during the manufacture, transportation, assembly, replacements and deconstruction of construction materials or products. Embodied carbon can be measured from cradle-to-gate, cradle-to-site, cradle-to-end of construction, cradle-to-grave, or even cradle-to-cradle. The typical embodied carbon datasets are cradle-to-gate. Embodied carbon is usually expressed in kilograms of CO2e per kilogram of product or material.
Why reducing EMBODIED CARBON important?
Most of the focus on reducing carbon emissions from the built environment has been to manage and reduce the energy consumption from lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning of buildings through better design and management in use. However, as more buildings are constructed to higher standards they become increasingly energy efficient and the relative importance of the carbon emissions created shifts from the operational emissions (from gas and electricity and the like) to energy consumed during other life cycle stages of projects...