IFC-based embodied carbon benchmarking for early design analysis

Alwan, Zaid and Ilhan Jones, Bahriye (2022) IFC-based embodied carbon benchmarking for early design analysis. Automation in Construction, 142. p. 104505. ISSN 0926-5805

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2022.104505


Current legislation focuses on reducing the operational carbon impact of buildings. However, the production of materials used in construction generates a considerable amount of carbon, known as embodied carbon, that accounts for a sizeable fraction of the environmental impact of a building during its lifecycle. We present a newly developed tool, pycab, which calculates the embodied carbon of a building directly at the design stage and compares it to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2030 Climate Challenge Target Benchmarks. As input, the tool uses standard Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) files that can be produced directly from existing Building Information Modelling (BIM) software. The pycab tool enables industry professionals to make design stage decisions that reduce the embodied carbon impact of their projects. This research demonstrates one of the many potential uses that digital tools can have in reducing the environmental impact of the construction industry.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The authors would like to thank Elliott Architects (https://www.elliottarchitects.co.uk/) for providing the case study and Circular Ecology for provision of the ICE database. The research was funded by Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) under the ECR scheme 2018-2019.
Uncontrolled Keywords: BIM, Benchmarking, Digitalisation, Embodied carbon, IFC
Subjects: H700 Production and Manufacturing Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2022 11:48
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 08:15
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/49660

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