CUED Publications database

A Comparative Review of Existing Data and Methodologies for Calculating Embodied Energy and Carbon of Buildings

Moncaster, A and Song, J-Y (2011) A Comparative Review of Existing Data and Methodologies for Calculating Embodied Energy and Carbon of Buildings. In: World Sustainable Building Conference, SB11, 2011-10-18 to 2011-10-21, Helsinki, Finland.

Full text not available from this repository.


In the Climate Change Act of 2008 the UK Government pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. As one step towards this, regulations are being introduced requiring all new buildings to be ‘zero carbon’ by 2019. These are defined as buildings which emit net zero carbon during their operational lifetime. However, in order to meet the 80% target it is necessary to reduce the carbon emitted during the whole life-cycle of buildings, including that emitted during the processes of construction. These elements make up the ‘embodied carbon’ of the building. While there are no regulations yet in place to restrict embodied carbon, a number of different approaches have been made. There are several existing databases of embodied carbon and embodied energy. Most provide data for the material extraction and manufacturing only, the ‘cradle to factory gate’ phase. In addition to the databases, various software tools have been developed to calculate embodied energy and carbon of individual buildings. A third source of data comes from the research literature, in which individual life cycle analyses of buildings are reported. This paper provides a comprehensive review, comparing and assessing data sources, boundaries and methodologies. The paper concludes that the wide variations in these aspects produce incomparable results. It highlights the areas where existing data is reliable, and where new data and more precise methods are needed. This comprehensive review will guide the future development of a consistent and transparent database and software tool to calculate the embodied energy and carbon of buildings.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions: Div D > Sustainable Development
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:14
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2018 01:49