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A pragmatic approach for embodied carbon estimating in buildings.

Victoria, Michele; Perera, Srinath; Davies, Alan


Srinath Perera

Alan Davies


Embodied Carbon (EC) estimating is driven by the development of Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) in 2008 along with the initial information paper of Royal Institution of Chatered Surveyors (RICS) on the methodology to calculate EC in 2012. RICS's latest guidance note (RICS, 2014) suggests good practices to estimate EC during various stages of a construction project. However, EC estimating was daunting and laborious which is then simplified to some extent by the introduction of the UK Building Blackbook. Despite the efforts of institutions and researchers to encourage EC estimating, construction industry is slow to embed EC estimating in day-to-day business. Nevertheless, EC research is breaking its boundaries and embarking into new avenues. This paper adds new knowldedge to the existing body of literature by presenting analyses of EC in different types of buildings including offices, residential buildings and educational buildings. Data were obtained from WRAP EC Database and presented in accordance with the element classification system of New Rules of Measurement (NRM). Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data and inferences were made based on the findings. 'Carbon hotspots' or the carbon intensive elements in the selected three types of buildings were identified and an approach to estimate EC based on carbon hotspots is proposed in light of encouraging practices of EC estimating from an early stage of design process.


VICTORIA, M., PERERA, S. and DAVIES, A. 2016. A pragmatic approach for embodied carbon estimating in buildings. NewDist [online], July 2016 (Special Issue 2): proceedings of the 2016 Sustainable built environment conference (SBE16): towards post-carbon cities, 18-19 February 2016, Torino, Italy, pages 470-480. Available from:

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Conference Name 2016 Sustainable built environment conference (SBE16)
Conference Location Torino, Italy
Start Date Feb 18, 2016
End Date Feb 19, 2016
Acceptance Date Oct 30, 2015
Online Publication Date Feb 18, 2016
Publication Date Jul 30, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 6, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 6, 2018
Journal NewDist
Print ISSN 2283-8791
Publisher DIST
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume July 2016
Issue Special Issue 2
Pages 470-480
Series ISSN 2283-8791
Keywords Buildings; Carbon hotspots; Embodied carbon; Estimating
Public URL
Publisher URL


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