How to calculate the embodied carbon of facades: A methodology - Published September 2022


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How to calculate the embodied carbon of facades: A methodology

With the emphasis in recent decades on reducing the operational carbon emissions from buildings, embodied carbon is becoming more significant, and there is an increasing shift in focus towards embodied carbon assessment.  This now requires more detailed quantification to better understand emissions and how they can be most effectively reduced. This is key as we move towards ‘net-zero’ buildings.  

The complexity associated with calculating the embodied carbon of facade systems should not be underestimated.  Furthermore, a consistent methodology is vital if we want to better understand the contribution that our facades make, be able to compare different options, quantify improvements and set targets.

This guide aims to support the facade and cladding industry in reducing the whole-life carbon emissions of their designs. To achieve this aim, this guide provides practitioners with the knowledge to quantify embodied carbon emissions of facade systems.

At the time of publication there remains many data gaps that limit the accuracy of the assessment of facade systems. In publication of this guide, it is intended to draw the focus of the industry to address these limitations. Where appropriate this guide presents default assumptions to address data gaps and in doing so provides a degree of consistency.

It is intended that this document will be updated over time to reflect the latest knowledge and experience in the field of whole life carbon assessment of facade and cladding systems.

October 2022 update
A worked example based on the methodology to help guide users through the process is now available and is included with the purchase of the methodology.  CWCT Members can download the worked example separately from the Cladding Forum.

June 2023
We are keen to receive feedback on our embodied carbon methodology for facades.  Your feedback is really important to help us better understand how the methodology is being used, what challenges are being faced, and how it might be improved in the future.  Thank you in advance for your views.

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Authors: CWCT Status: Guidance Published: 2022
Pages: 70
Cost: CWCT members Free (login to the Cladding Forum)
Non-members £100