Embodied carbon in building services: A calculation methodology outlines the need for assessments of embodied carbon of products linked to mechanical, electrical and public health (MEP) systems, to increase knowledge and facilitate research in whole life carbon in MEP systems. In this document, embodied carbon is understood as the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) associated with the making of a product, its installation, its maintenance, repair, replacement, and then its end of life. It covers the whole life cycle, excluding operational aspects and the potential recovery, reuse or recycling of materials. The embodied carbon associated with MEP design can be significant in a building lifetime due to the materials that MEP equipment are made of and high replacement rates.
This document provides guidance on how to use environmental product declarations (EPDs) for MEP products. Where EPDs are not available, this document provides guidance on how to estimate the embodied carbon of MEP products.
This guidance provides a consistent approach for:
- the data required from manufacturers
- an embodied carbon calculation methodology for MEP products, depending on how much information from manufacturers is available
- the way in which embodied carbon assessments are reported.
The purpose of this guide is to help the industry take a first step together to evaluate embodied carbon emissions in MEP design, alongside operational carbon emissions. The intention is that consultants and engineers that use this guidance will feedback their findings to CIBSE on the embodied carbon of MEP products. This will help to inform further iterations of this guide, as well as establishing guidance on actions that reduce the embodied carbon associated with MEP systems.
For a demonstration of the Calculator, see the launch webinar here:
The forms associated with the Embodied Carbon Calculator can be accessed here:
Embodied Carbon Calculator Manufacturer's Form
Embodied Carbon Calculator Basic Report Form
Embodied Carbon Calculator Mid-level Report Form
Authors: Louise Hamot and Clara Bagenal George, Elementa Consulting Ltd.
Contributors: George Adams (SPIE), Jane Anderson (ConstructionLCA Ltd.), Tom Bunn (Arup), Duncan Cox (Thornton Tomasetti), Simon Ebbatson (Elementa Consulting Ltd.), Pat Hermon, Roger Hitchin, Helen Hough (Bryden Wood), Johanna Jarvinen (Bionova Ltd./One Click LCA), Anna Lasso (UL), Dr Qian Li (Cundall), Athina Papakosta (SCS Railways), Alex Pepper (Elementa Consulting Ltd.), Ina Peukes (Resource Efficient Built Environment Lab (REBEL), Edinburgh Napier University), Dr Barbara Rodriguez Droguett (Carbon Leadership Forum), Michelle Sanchez Brajkovic (PDP Architects), Dr Yair Schwartz (University College London (UCL)), Simon Sturgis (Targeting Zero), Sebastian Theien (TH K.ln — University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Building Services Engineering), Dr Joe Jack Williams (Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios).
Peer Reviewers: Dr Francesco Pomponi (Resource Efficient Built Environment Lab (REBEL), Edinburgh Napier University); Dr Julie Godefroy (Julie Godefroy Sustainability) and Simon Wyatt (Cundall).
To find out more about the authors of TM65, see our CIBSE Knowledge blog interview