Webcor Partners with Carbon Leadership Forum to Support Development of Embodied Carbon Construction Calculator

Webcor is excited to announce its partnership with the Carbon Leadership Forum and fellow industry leaders to support the development of the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3). This open-source tool will be used by the AEC community to compare and reduce embodied carbon emissions from construction materials.

When it comes to carbon, not all building materials are created equal. A steel beam made from hydropower electricity, for example, would have a drastically lower carbon footprint than a steel beam produced from coal power. EC3 provides an innovative way to compare against the range of carbon impacts that building materials can carry, empowering builders to take a proactive role in combating carbon emissions of buildings at the point of procurement.

“Webcor sees this as an opportunity to select materials from both a cost and carbon perspective,” explains Jenelle Shapiro, Sustainability Director. “We’re confident this tool will be valuable in pushing the needle towards a new carbon economy.”

As a Pilot Partner for the program, Webcor has been providing tool feedback to the Skanska USA and C Change Labs developer team, piloting with as-built information for its 706 Mission project in San Francisco, and using the tool to influence procurement decisions with multiple other projects in early stages of design and construction. The company aims to incorporate the EC3 tool with all Webcor projects in the future, making it a commonplace discussion with every client and prioritizing proactive materiality choice conversations which help improve the carbon footprint of Webcor’s project portfolio.

Read the official press release from the Carbon Leadership Forum below.

The Carbon Leadership Forum, in partnership with more than 30 industry leaders, announces breakthrough tool to easily evaluate carbon emissions of building materials

As the world builds the equivalent of an entire New York City every month, reducing the carbon emissions of materials is an imperative

SEATTLE– September 23, 2019

The Carbon Leadership Forum, in partnership with a coalition of more than 30 forward looking and innovative building industry leaders announce that they have taken on a long-elusive goal – measuring and reducing the carbon footprint of building materials. The result is the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (“EC3”), an open source tool for architects, engineers, owners, construction companies, building material suppliers and policy makers to compare and reduce embodied carbon emissions from construction materials.

Between now and 2060 the world’s population will be doubling the amount of building floorspace, equivalent to building an entire New York City every month for 40 years. Most of the carbon footprint of these new buildings will take the form of embodied carbon — the emissions associated with building material manufacturing and construction. As a result, owners, designers, engineers and contractors are turning their attention to building materials and seeking information on these products so they can make informed, smart choices. This task has been fraught with problems – from the lack of data to data too complex to evaluate.

In response to this problem, Skanska USA and C Change Labs conceived of a solution that would enable the building industry to easily access and view material carbon emissions data, allowing them to make carbon smart choices during material specification and procurement. Initial development was jointly funded by Skanska and Microsoft, who determined that an open platform would provide maximum impact for the industry and society at large. To accelerate development of this solution, the Carbon Leadership Forum incubated the project with strong leadership and additional financial support from Autodesk, Interface, the MKA Foundation and the Charles Pankow Foundation, lead sponsor and grant manager. Subsequently, more than 30 other industry-leaders joined in.

“Our mission is to accelerate the transformation of the building sector to radically reduce embodied carbon,” said Kate Simonen, director of the Carbon Leadership Forum and professor in the College of the Built Environments at the University of Washington. “The EC3 tool is a great example of what can happen when our passionate and collaborative network comes together around a need.”

Industry sponsors include: Grant Administrator Charles Pankow Foundation; Pilot Partners Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Microsoft Corporation, Perkins and Will, Port of Seattle, Skanska USA, Walter P Moore and Associates, Inc., and Webcor; Association Partners: American Concrete Institute (ACI) Foundation, American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the BlueGreen Alliance; and Material Partners: Armstrong Ceiling and Wall Solutions, BASF Corporation, CarbonCure Technologies, Interface, Inc., Kingspan Group, and USG Corporation.

Additional support is provided by Technology Partners including Autodesk, Climate Earth, mindful MATERIALS Library powered by Origin, Sustainable Minds and Tally; EC3 Tool Methodology Partners: Arup, Brightworks Sustainability, Central Concrete Supply Co., Inc., Climate Earth, Katerra, KieranTimberlake, LeMessurierr, LMN Architects, National Ready Mixed Concrete Co., Owens Corning, Thornton Tomasetti, Urban Fabrick, WAP Sustainability and WRNS Studio. View the full list of collaborators at www.carbonleadershipforum.org.

The EC3 Tool: A Closer Look

Increasingly the building industry and owners are becoming aware that materials matter and are seeking ways to evaluate the emissions associated with making these materials, but they have not had a reliable or efficient way to compare them. As a result, while awareness and a desire to enact change have been high, few have found an avenue to effectively examine and evaluate the available material choices. The EC3 tool, an open-source tool, simplifies this complex problem and will allow users to easily see the embodied carbon impacts of the materials before consumption. Now users will have the information they need to make more informed decisions on embodied carbon, allowing them to enact positive change. Details on the EC3 tool will be made available November 2019. Collaborating partners will be demonstrating the product at Greenbuild, November 19-22, 2019 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA.

Learn more

For more information on the Carbon Leadership Forum and the EC3 tool, including links to our partners’ announcements visit www.carbonleadershipforum.org

Visit www.buildingtransparency.org and register to have access to the EC3 tool. The tool will be released November 19, 2019.

List of all collaborators, including spokespersons, media contacts and quotes, available upon request.