Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

An elemental approach for predicting embodied carbon of office buildings.

Victoria, Michele; Perera, Srinath


Srinath Perera


Embodied Carbon (EC) in buildings is increasingly becoming an important factor in carbon management. There are numerous tools and methods to estimate EC right from the beginning of a construction project. However, each tool has its own pros and cons. One such approach is to estimate EC using Element Unit Rates (EC-EUR) and Element Unit Quantity (EUQ). This is made possible by identifying carbon hotspots in buildings in the first instance and developing EC-EURs for different specifications of the carbon hotspots. Development of elemental EC-EUR benchmarks and its application in the proposed elemental approach for predicting EC is presented in the paper. Carbon hotspots of office buildings were identified using a sample of 28 office buildings in the UK where Substructure, Frame, Upper Floors, External Walls and Services were identified as the carbon hotspots. EC-EUR benchmarks were developed for different specifications of the hotspots by statistically modelling the sample for Frame. However, EC-EURs of the rest of the hotspots were not developed due to lack of specification information. The key outcomes of the research include the carbon hotspots of office buildings leading to the development of an early design stage EC prediction model and the concept of developing EC-EUR benchmarks which are not established at the moment and hence, fill the knowledge gap in the literature.


VICTORIA, M. and PERERA, S. 2017. An elemental approach for predicting embodied carbon of office buildings. In Proceedings of the 2017 World sustainable built environment conference (WORLDSBE 2017): transforming our built environment through innovation and integration: putting ideas into action, 5-7 June 2017, Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong: Construction Industry Council [online], pages 522-527. Available from:

Conference Name 2017 World sustainable built environment conference (WORLDSBE 2017)
Conference Location Hong Kong, China
Start Date Jun 5, 2017
End Date Jun 7, 2017
Acceptance Date May 31, 2017
Online Publication Date May 31, 2017
Publication Date Jun 7, 2017
Deposit Date Mar 20, 2018
Publicly Available Date Mar 20, 2018
Publisher Construction Industry Council
Pages 522-527
ISBN 9789887794301
Keywords Carbon hotspots; Embodied Carbon Element Unit Rate (ECEUR); Element Unit Quantity (EUQ); Office buildings
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations