Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, has launched Beacon, an innovative embodied carbon measurement tool poised to change the way structural engineers understand and manage embodied carbon optimization. The tool – first-of-its-kind – gives users the ability to measure embodied carbon, allowing for more informed decisions throughout the design process.
Beacon is being introduced after an intensive, three-year research and development process led by Thornton Tomasetti’s CORE studio, a firm-wide virtual incubator focused on innovation through computational modeling and research. The tool is a sophisticated Autodesk Revit plugin that generates a comprehensive data visualization of a project’s embodied carbon. Beacon provides data in a manner similar to the engineer’s thought process, providing a clear visualization of a project’s embodied carbon quantities by material type, building element and floor levels, allowing engineers to know exactly where embodied carbon can be minimized for optimization. It also grades the model’s embodied carbon levels against the Carbon Leadership Forum’s database of models by building type using a red, yellow, and green rating system.
“Thornton Tomasetti continues to lead the industry’s efforts on efficient and environmentally conscious designs,” added Robert Otani, principal and chief technology officer at Thornton Tomasetti. “We decided to make Beacon an open-source and easy-to-use tool, so it can be shared at a global scale. We hope this unique and comprehensive tool will push the industry forward into developing innovative strategies that result in more sustainable and efficient structures.”