May 21, 2020

EC3 Tool Methodology Beta


This beta document has been superseded by the 2021 Material Baselines Report, published in February 2021. The 2021 report constitutes an update to the 2019 Beta Baselines with improved data sourcing, citation, and categories. 

Research Purpose:

To develop the methods used to categorize and assess the embodied carbon data in the EC3 tool.


The Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool is an open-access tool that allows benchmarking, assessment, and reductions in embodied carbon, focused on the upfront supply chain emissions of construction materials. This tool utilizes building material quantities from construction estimates and/or BIM models and a database of digital, third‐party verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Powered by this data, the EC3 tool enables the specification and procurement of low carbon options.

With primary support from the Charles Pankow Foundation, this tool has been incubated at the Carbon Leadership Forum in collaboration with C Change Labs, and developed with input from nearly 50 industry partners. Read more about the initiative.

The Carbon Leadership Forum is responsible for developing the methods to categorize data and assess EPDs that are used in the EC3 tool. In November of 2019, the CLF published the beta versions of the general methodology and material category baselines to support the public beta version of the tool. Ongoing work by the CLF includes: updates to the methodology general report and supporting documentation, including production of methodology material reports; updates to the material category baselines; technical data support to help ensure that EPDs are appropriately represented and categorized in the tool; and facilitation of stakeholder input and discourse.

EC3 Resources Description Access
Peer-reviewed journal article on methodology Waldman, B., Huang, M., & Simonen, K. (2020). Embodied carbon in construction materials: a framework for quantifying data quality in EPDs. Buildings and Cities1(1), 625–636. DOI: Link
Tool Methodology Beta 11/19/2019   Download
EC Baselines Beta 5/20/2020   Download
Embodied Carbon Action and the EC3 Tool Video overview by Kate Simonen Watch
Data Comparability and the EC3 Tool Video discussion by Kate Simonen on the limited comparability of embodied carbon data Watch
Uncertainty and the EC3 Tool Video discussion by Kate Simonen  diving into some of the details about how uncertainty is estimated in the tool Watch
Manufacturers and the EC3 Tool Video discussion by Kate Simonen about how to find your product data in the tool Watch


Research Team

  • K. Simonen (PI)
  • B. Waldman
  • M. Huang

Research Funding

Lead funder for this methodology research project was the Charles Pankow Foundation.

EC3 Tool Sponsors

Over 50 companies, associations, and organizations across the building industry partnered to sponsor and particpate in the development of the EC3 tool. Learn more about the project.



Sign Up for EC3

The Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool, is a free and easy to use tool that allows benchmarking, assessment and reductions in embodied carbon, focused on the upfront supply chain emissions of construction materials.

Latest News

Introducing Clare (Vivi) Kondrat

Intern, Carbon Leadership Forum Clare is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in engineering at the University of Washington, with the...

Introducing Chad Evans

Operations Manager, Carbon Leadership Forum Chad Evans helps to manage budgets, keep projects on track, support HR needs, and optimize systems and...

Buy Clean Buy Fair Pilot Study Published

Carbon Leadership Forum and the Washington State Department of Commerce have published the final report for the Buy Clean Buy Fair (BCBF) Pilot...

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 Jordan Palmeri

Senior Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum Jordan Palmeri is a Senior Researcher on the policy team at CLF. He’s an interdisciplinary scientist and...

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,...

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...

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...