Innovation That Matters

A carbon-negative office block | Photo source Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Platform helps architects estimate carbon emissions of planned buildings

Architecture & Design

An architecture studio has released an open-source digital tool that helps architects to design more efficient buildings

Spotted: Architects are placing themselves at the forefront of a movement to develop carbon neutral and carbon negative buildings. Architecture and design studio Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) is working to make this easier with their development of a free tool called FCBS Carbon, which helps architects to estimate the whole-life carbon emissions of a planned building.

Whole-life carbon emissions refer to the CO2 emitted during the entire lifespan of a building. Knowing the whole-life emissions can allow architects to fine-tune their designs in order to produce fewer emissions. The FCBS Carbon tool helps architects to quickly and easily produce a spreadsheet of a building’s potential environmental impact.  Architects can then see how changes to plans and materials affect the carbon footprint.

The tool grew out of the Architects Declare initiative, which produced a commitment, signed by major architecture firms, to help alleviate the climate crisis by working to minimise waste and achieve net-zero carbon in all new building projects.  It could also help architects to meet the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge, which calls for all new and retrofitted buildings to achieve net-zero whole-life carbon.

Ian Taylor, a partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, explains that the studio developed, “FCBS Carbon using standardised and benchmarked data to empower the industry to navigate complex design variables without the burden of creating a full bill of materials each time… Appreciation of embodied carbon also helps us to understand the value of the materials we already have.”

Architects have a huge role to play in reducing carbon emissions. At Springwise, we have seen them become ever-more involved in the drive towards zero-carbon, with many innovative designs. Recent ideas include modular houses built from recycled plastic and designs that help desert houses cool themselves.

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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