The RICS have published their guide to calculating the embodied carbon in construction materials.

Smith and Wallwork have been working with embodied CO2 (ECO2) in construction for sometime now – perhaps 5 years. The RICS report is one of the better documents for those starting out in the field, just a shame that it is only available to RICS members. We think the RICS should follow Bath University’s example of making their ECO2 database free to all.

Looking back at how working with ECO2 has affected our design decisions it is difficult to say that it has led to a significant change in how we engineer buildings. Perhaps the biggest omission from all discussions to date is the social aspect to construction – should we be design buildings to be low ECO2 or should we first look at local materials and skills to build truly sustainable communities?