Balfour trials embodied carbon calculator tool

Aaron Morby 1 year ago
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Balfour Beatty is testing a new BIM tool that measures embodied carbon in construction materials and products to fine-tune design of lower carbon buildings.

BIM image courtesy of Scott Tallon Walker Architects
BIM image courtesy of Scott Tallon Walker Architects

Live project trials are indicating potential saving of up to 14% in embodied carbon through more informed design choices.

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.”

The AutoBIM Carbon Calculator is currently being trialled across four of Balfour Beatty’s projects including The Institute of Regeneration and Repair at the University of Edinburgh.

It has been developed in collaboration with Innovate UK, Leeds Beckett University and Hertfordshire University to offer a consistent, practical solution for the measurement of embodied carbon.

Following a phased roll-out across Balfour Beatty’s projects over the next six months, the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator will be made “available to the wider industry within the next twelve months.”

Balfour said it is currently working on the commercial terms of the roll-out but it is understood other firms will have to pay to use it.

AutoBIM Carbon Calculator


The AutoBIM Carbon Calculator automatically links BIM data to embodied carbon data from the Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) database.

This online source provides energy and embodied carbon information for over 200 construction materials.

The platform 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.

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