IFC-based embodied carbon benchmarking for early design analysis

Zaid Alwan, Bahriye Ilhan Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104505
Number of pages12
JournalAutomation in Construction
Early online date5 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


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