Carbon Leadership Forum

November 21, 2019

AutoDesk: New Carbon Calculator Offers Hope for Reducing Carbon in the Building Industry

As a leader in design and construction software solutions for many high–emissions industries, Autodesk recognizes the vital importance of reducing carbon. This reality has AEC industries focused on the importance of making smarter choices around building materials, an option not readily available until today.

Over the last year, we’ve worked with the Carbon Leadership Forum, in collaboration with Skanska, C Change Labs and nearly 50 partners, to create the Embodied Carbon in Construction (“EC3”) tool, launched today at the Greenbuild Expo in Atlanta, and now available in public beta.

Learn more about embodied carbon from the Carbon Leadership Forum.
The impact of the built environment is undeniable—it contributes almost 40% of CO2 emissions worldwide. And as global growth continues, it’s estimated that between today and 2060, the amount of building floorspace will double. That’s equivalent to building an entire New York City every month for 40 years. Moreover, at least half of the carbon footprint of these new buildings will take the form of embodied carbon— the greenhouse gas emitted in the building material supply chain, including raw material extraction, transport, refining, and manufacturing of building materials.

So how can we mitigate the proliferation of embodied carbon? To date, the industry has struggled to understand and measure it in their projects. For example, two materials can look identical and perform the same, but have extremely different amounts of embodied carbon; a fully recycled steel beam from a renewably-powered electric arc furnace and a virgin steel beam from a coal-fired furnace may be superficially identical, but radically different in their impacts to climate.

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