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TM65.3 Embodied carbon in building services: logistics centres
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TM65.3 Embodied carbon in building services: logistics centres

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This document discusses the embodied carbon impact of different material handling equipment (MHE) and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) equipment typically used in logistics centres. Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with materials and construction processes in modules A1 to A5 (product and construction), B1 to B5 (in use) and C1 to C4 (end of life) as defined in BS EN 15978:2011. The embodied carbon calculations in this document follow the methodology outlined in CIBSE TM65: Embodied carbon in building services: a calculation methodology (2021). The life cycle stages that are in scope for this study are A1–A4, B1–B4 and C1–C4.

This document is intended for anyone who is involved in the design, construction, operation or maintenance of logistics centres, as well as those who are interested in reducing the environmental impact of the logistics industry. This includes logistics centre owners, manufacturers, retailers, e-commerce companies, architects, engineers, contractors, policymakers, researchers and students.

The research for this document was conducted by Introba, sponsored by and in partnership with Amazon. It was made possible thanks to the help of many manufacturers who shared information about their products, which enabled the calculation of generic embodied carbon coefficients at the product level. For the building typologies examined, this project is a first step towards understanding the embodied carbon implications of logistics centres with different functions. This study aims to help designers make data-driven decisions early in the design process. However, it is important to note that Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are the gold standard for environmental product data as they are produced via a more

comprehensive life cycle assessment and are third-party verified. Additionally, as more manufacturer data is disclosed and more EPDs are created, the results of this study will evolve over time.


1.1 Embodied carbon in logistics centres

1.2 Aim and scope

1.3 Terminology and abbreviations

1.4 Methodology

1.5 MHE scenarios

1.6 MEP equipment scenarios

2 Product level: MHE key findings

2.1 Embodied carbon of MHE products by weight

3 Product level: MEP equipment key findings

3.1 Embodied carbon of MEP products by capacity

3.2 Embodied carbon of MEP products by weight

3.3 Refrigerant leakage

4 System-level results: MHE

4.1 Key findings

4.2 Traditional racking centre

4.3 Cross docking centre

4.4 Automated fulfilment centre

4.5 Loop sort centre

4.6 Automated distribution centre

5 System-level results: MEP

5.1 Key findings

5.2 Scenario 1: rooftop unit

5.3 Scenario 2: all-air system

5.4 Scenario 3: fan coil unit

6 Conclusions

6.1 General conclusions

6.2 Detailed conclusions (MHE)

6.3 Detailed conclusions (MEP)

6.4 Practical applications

6.5 Limitations

6.6 Further work

Appendix A: Detailed scope

Appendix B: Detailed methodology

Appendix C: Detailed assumptions

Appendix D: Functional units

Appendix E: Material coefficients and scale-up factors

Appendix F: Worked example

Appendix G: Product-level results

Appendix H: Detailed MEP system-level results

Appendix I: Lever studies

Appendix J: Detailed taxonomy

Lead authors: Jack Pearce (Introba), Will Bury (Introba)

Key contributors: Phil Birch (Amazon), Clara Bagenal George (Introba), Movin Wijayananda (Amazon), Hugh Dugdale (Introba), Marco Mamino (Amazon), Ceyda Davidson (Introba), Joep Meijer (Vanderlande), David Duque Lozano (Vanderlande), Pöschl Maximilian (TGW)

Peer reviewers: Rowan Bell-Bentley (Arup), Maria Benazzo (Arup), Sarah Bousquet (Arup), Rob Griffiths (Atkins), Roger Hitchin (independent consultant), Fabrizio Varriale (RICS)

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