Balfour Beatty develops innovative carbon calculation tool

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Balfour Beatty, Innovate UK, Leeds Beckett University, Hertfordshire University and White Frog Publishing has created a carbon calculation tool for the construction and infrastructure industry

Currently in its beta testing phase, the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator automatically links BIM data to embodied carbon data from the Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) database.

In addition, the carbon calculation tool also allows users to input information from environmental product declarations sheets; verified and registered documents that provide transparent and comparable data about the environmental impact throughout the lifecycle of a product or material.

The platform will support teams during the design phase of a project to compare products and materials, provide alternative solutions and ultimately help those involved make informed, low carbon decisions.

A ‘long overdue’ tool for construction and infrastructure

Rachel Sudlow, Balfour Beatty strategic improvement project manager, said: “The construction and infrastructure industry has previously struggled to offer a consistent approach when it comes to the measurement of embodied carbon.

“That is why we have collaborated with leading industry experts to create the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator which will make a real and positive difference to how our industry operates.

“The introduction of such a tool is long overdue and with the impact of our work on the environment front of mind, it is a truly welcomed development.”

The AutoBIM Carbon Calculator is currently being trialled across four of Balfour Beatty’s projects including, The Institute of Regeneration and Repair at the University of Edinburgh.

During trials on live projects, the use of this carbon calculation tool has evidenced a potential saving of up to 14% embodied carbon through more informed design choices.

Following a phased roll-out across Balfour Beatty’s projects over the next six months, the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator will be available to the wider industry within the next twelve months.

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