BCIS launches embodied carbon database

Credit: J.M. Image Factory / AdobeStock
Credit: J.M. Image Factory / AdobeStock

The Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) has launched a free-to-access embodied carbon database to help drive down carbon emissions by enabling users to both submit and download data to facilitate consistent carbon estimating and benchmarking.

The Built Environment Carbon Database (BECD) has been funded and developed by BCIS in collaboration with a range of leading organisations and professional bodies from across the built environment over the last three years.

It consists of two databases for carbon assessments, for assets – at a building or project level – and products, typically from EPDs (environmental product declarations). 

Projects can be added, with either full visibility to other users or anonymously, with different assessments covering the stages from design through to operation. The BECD is being launched with more than 34,000 data entries from EPDs, with users urged to add data from their own projects. 

BCIS CEO James Fiske, who chairs the BECD steering group, said: “The built environment industry has a moral and ethical responsibility to take action.

“In the absence of the government taking a lead and mandating carbon assessments, it’s really up to us as an industry to drive this forward.

“About 40% of global greenhouse emissions come from the built environment and, if we don’t do anything about it, that’s predicted to double by 2050.  

“We have to ensure that, regardless of what job we’re fulfilling in the industry, we all influence the reduction of carbon emissions in one way, shape or form.” 

He added: “There are dozens and dozens of carbon calculators out there in the industry, all working in different ways, some including and excluding things that others aren’t. These are great to start making the right decisions, but they won’t get us all the way there. Some aren’t compliant with the RICS Standard, which makes it much more difficult to compare outputs and learn from each other. 

“The BECD is step one. It’s an opportunity to make the industry consistent, but it’s use it or lose it. We desperately need to reduce emissions in the built environment and the BECD is our best chance at sharing our experiences for everyone’s benefit. I implore everyone to use it and not to let it become another footnote in the history of things we could have done to combat climate change, but let the opportunity pass us by.

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