Sep 23, 2019

Announcing the EC3 tool partnership

Press Release

The Carbon Leadership Forum, in partnership with more than 30 industry leaders, announces breakthrough tool to easily evaluate carbon emissions of building materials

As the world builds the equivalent of an entire New York City every month, reducing the carbon emissions of materials is an imperative.
The Carbon Leadership Forum, in partnership with a coalition of more than 30 forward looking and innovative building industry leaders announce that they have taken on a long-elusive goal – measuring and reducing the carbon footprint of building materials. The result is the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (“EC3”) tool, an open source tool for architects, engineers, owners, construction companies, building material suppliers and policy makers to compare and reduce embodied carbon emissions from construction materials.

Between now and 2060 the world’s population will be doubling the amount of building floorspace, equivalent to building an entire New York City every month for 40 years. Most of the carbon footprint of these new buildings will take the form of embodied carbon — the emissions associated with building material manufacturing and construction. As a result, owners, designers, engineers and contractors are turning their attention to building materials and seeking information on these products so they can make informed, smart choices. This task has been fraught with problems – from the lack of data to data too complex to evaluate.

In response to this problem, Skanska USA and C Change Labs conceived of a solution that would enable the building industry to easily access and view material carbon emissions data, allowing them to make carbon smart choices during material specification and procurement. Initial development was jointly funded by Skanska and Microsoft, who determined that an open platform would provide maximum impact for the industry and society at large. To accelerate development of this solution, the Carbon Leadership Forum incubated the project with strong leadership and additional financial support from Autodesk, Interface, the MKA Foundation and the Charles Pankow Foundation, lead sponsor and grant manager. Subsequently, more than 30 other industry-leaders joined in.

“Our mission is to accelerate the transformation of the building sector to radically reduce embodied carbon,” said Kate Simonen, director of the Carbon Leadership Forum and professor in the College of the Built Environments at the University of Washington. “The EC3 tool is a great example of what can happen when our passionate and collaborative network comes together around a need.”
Industry sponsors include: Grant Administrator: Charles Pankow Foundation; Pilot Partners: Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Microsoft Corporation,

Perkins and Will, Port of Seattle, Skanska USA, Walter P Moore and Associates, Inc., and Webcor; Association Partners: American Concrete Institute (ACI) Foundation, American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the BlueGreen Alliance; and Material Partners: Armstrong Ceiling and Wall Solutions, BASF Corporation, CarbonCure Technologies, Interface, Inc., Kingspan Group, and USG Corporation.

Additional support is provided by Technology Partners including Autodesk, Climate Earth, Sustainable Minds, Tally, and mindful MATERIALS library Powered by Origin; EC3 Tool Methodology Partners: Arup, Brightworks Sustainability, Central Concrete Supply Co., Inc., Climate Earth, Katerra, KieranTimberlake, LeMessurierr, LMN Architects, National Ready Mixed Concrete Co., Owens Corning, Thornton Tomasetti, Urban Fabrick, WAP Sustainability and WRNS Studio. 

The EC3 Tool: A Closer Look

Increasingly the building industry and owners are becoming aware that materials matter and are seeking ways to evaluate the emissions associated with making these materials, but they have not had a reliable or efficient way to compare them. As a result, while awareness and a desire to enact change have been high, few have found an avenue to effectively examine and evaluate the available material choices. The EC3 tool, an open-source tool, simplifies this complex problem and will allow users to easily see the embodied carbon impacts of the materials before consumption. Now users will have the information they need to make more informed decisions on embodied carbon, allowing them to enact positive change. Details on the EC3 tool will be made available November 2019. Collaborating partners will be demonstrating the product at Greenbuild, November 19-22, 2019 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA.

Learn more

Visit www.buildingtransparency.org and register to have access to the EC3 tool. The tool will be released November 19, 2019.
List of all collaborators, including spokespersons, media contacts and quotes, available upon request.
Additional embodied carbon resources:

About the Carbon Leadership Forum

The Carbon Leadership Forum, built on a collective impact model, has amassed the largest network of architects, engineers, contractors, material suppliers, policy makers and academics to reduce the carbon impact of materials in buildings. Together, we have developed an extensive body of research and resources necessary to inform and empower our members, while building a robust collaborative network – the Embodied Carbon Network – that is inspiring and connecting our members to enact change. This has resulted in member-led initiatives, including the recent structural engineers embodied carbon challenge (SE 2050) and the development of the EC3 Tool. For more information visit: www.carbonleadershipforum.org.

Latest News

Introducing Prajin Uttamchandani

Intern, Carbon Leadership Forum Prajin is a student at the University of Washington currently seeking a degree in Architecture, with a focus on...

Introducing Delilah Canales

Intern, Carbon Leadership Forum Delilah is a current junior at the University of Washington pursuing a degree in Architecture. Her interest in the...

Introducing Jen Wolf

Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum Jennifer (Jen) Wolf is a Research Engineer with the Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington...

Senior Policy Researcher

Research Position Now Open Senior Policy ResearcherThe Carbon Leadership Forum, a research organization based out of the University of Washington's...

ARPA-E $3.7M Grant to Fund Core LCA R&D

by Stephanie Carlisle, Senior Researcher for the Carbon Leadership Forum The promise of radically decarbonizing the building sector lies, in part,...

Postdoctoral Scholar: LCA Modeling

Research Position Now Open Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) modeling of carbon-storing materials The Department of Architecture at the University of...

Introducing Allison Hyatt

Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum Allison Hyatt is a Researcher with the Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington. With years of...

Introducing Megan Kalsman

Policy Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum by Megan Kalsman I have always been drawn to and fascinated by cities. How we work, play, and move about...

Introducing Meghan Byrne

Engagement and Communications Lead, Carbon Leadership Forum Meghan Byrne works to support collaboration and communication across the CLF Community...

Introducing Milad Ashtiani

Building and Materials Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum, University of Washington Milad Ashtiani is a civil engineer who received his PhD from...

2022 Embodied Carbon Policy Action

by Meghan LewisSenior Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum 2021 was a busy year for embodied carbon policy, and 2022 looks to be filled with even...

Introducing Brad Benke

Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum, University of Washington Brad Benke, AIA, is a Research Scientist at the Carbon Leadership Forum focused on...

Introducing Meghan Lewis

Senior Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum, University of Washington Meghan Lewis is a Senior Researcher at the Carbon Leadership Forum, where she...

Introducing Steph Carlisle

Senior Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum, University of Washington   Stephanie Carlisle is an architect and environmental researcher whose...

Introducing Monica Huang

Research Engineer, Carbon Leadership Forum, University of Washington Monica Huang is a research engineer with experience in environmental life cycle...

Embodied Carbon in Construction

Published in Buildings & Cities in the Special Collection: "Carbon metrics for buildings and cities" Publication date: September 2020 Authors:...

Introducing Anthony Hickling

Managing Director, Carbon Leadership Forum, University of Washington Anthony Hickling has experience in environmental and social sustainability as...

Carbon Positive RESET!

There has never been a greater urgency for climate action. by Ed Mazria and Natasha BalwitArchitecture 2030 We are in a race to find solutions for...

en_USEnglish