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Wed June 29 2022

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CIBSE develops embodied carbon calculator

10 Feb The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has produced a digital embodied carbon calculator.

Front cover of the CIBSE TM65 calculator
Front cover of the CIBSE TM65 calculator

CIBSE’s carbon calculator tool is designed to enable engineers to estimate the embodied carbon associated with mechanical, electrical and public health systems in buildings.

It is intended to support consultants, researchers and manufacturers in implementing the CIBSE standard TM65 Embodied carbon in building services: a calculation methodology, by performing the calculations set out in the document. CIBSE Technical Memorandum 65 was published last year to enable the embodied carbon of building services equipment to be calculated when no environmental product declaration (EPD) is available.

EPDs are a standardised way of providing the embodied carbon and other environmental impacts of a product. However, because of the complexity of building services products and their supply chains, very few building services equipment manufacturers offer them. 

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To use the digital embodied carbon calculator tool, a manufacturer must first complete the a form describing the materials used in the product. Using data from the manufacturer's form, a user is then able to complete either a basic embodied carbon calculation, when limited information is available, or a more robust mid-level calculation. Once the user has added contact details and completed consent to publication details, the result may be used as a self-assessed value for the embodied carbon of the product, CIBSE says.

CIBSE head of digital engineering Carl Collins said: "As the building services sector moves towards achieving net zero carbon, the significance of embodied carbon in the selection of building services products and systems is becoming increasingly important. The TM65 digital tool is there to fill in the gaps where an EPD is not available to the designer or specifier.”

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