Balfour Beatty teams up with higher education institutions to develop innovative Carbon Calculator software
22 March 2021
Balfour Beatty, in collaboration with Innovate UK, Leeds Beckett University, Hertfordshire University and White Frog Publishing, has created a carbon calculation tool for the construction and infrastructure industry - offering a consistent, practical solution for the measurement of embodied carbon.
Currently in its beta testing phase, the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator automatically links BIM data to embodied carbon data from the Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) database, an online source which provides energy and embodied carbon information for construction materials.
In addition, the platform also allows users to input information from environmental product declarations sheets; verified and registered documents that provide transparent and comparable data about the environmental impact throughout the lifecycle of a product or material.
The innovative platform will support teams during the design phase of a project to compare products and materials, provide alternative solutions and ultimately help those involved make informed, low carbon decisions.
Having launched its new sustainability strategy ‘Building New Futures’ last year, the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator marks another step forward in Balfour Beatty’s journey to going beyond net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
Rachel Sudlow, Balfour Beatty Strategic Improvement Project Manager, said: “The construction and infrastructure industry has previously struggled to offer a consistent approach when it comes to the measurement of embodied carbon.
That is why we have collaborated with leading industry experts to create the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator which will make a real and positive difference to how our industry operates. The introduction of such a tool is long overdue and with the impact of our work on the environment front of mind, it is a truly welcomed development.”
The AutoBIM Carbon Calculator is currently being trialled across four of Balfour Beatty’s projects including The Institute of Regeneration and Repair at the University of Edinburgh to which the company was appointed in 2019 through the SCAPE Civil Engineering framework. During trials on live projects, the use of this tool has evidenced a potential saving of up to 14% embodied carbon through more informed design choices.
Following a phased roll-out across Balfour Beatty’s projects over the next six months, the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator will be available to the wider industry within the next twelve months with plans to expand the remit of the Calculator to measure the energy performance of products and materials post completion.
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Notes to editors:
- Balfour Beatty (com) is a leading international infrastructure group with 26,000 employees driving the delivery of powerful new solutions, shaping thinking, creating skylines and inspiring a new generation of talent to be the change-makers of tomorrow.
- We finance, develop, build, maintain and operate the increasingly complex and critical infrastructure that supports national economies and deliver projects at the heart of local communities.
- Over the last 111 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including: the £1.5 billion A14 improvement scheme - Britain’s biggest road project; Hong Kong’s HK$5.5 billion world-class harbour theatre project for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; and the 12.5 mile $429 million North Metro Commuter Rail line in Colorado, US.
- In December 2020, we launched our refreshed sustainability strategy, “Building New Futures”, which sets out our ambitions to achieve net zero emissions, generate zero waste and positively impact over one million people by 2040.
- The strategy focusses on three specific areas – the Environment, Materials and Communities – with each area assigned a 2040 ambition. To guide us in our journey to achieve these ambitions, Balfour Beatty will be reporting annually on each area, with defined 2030 targets to ensure the Group is on track to achieve its 2040 ambitions.
- Balfour Beatty is committed to leaving a legacy in the communities in which we operate, working with local supply chain partners wherever possible, investing in local community initiatives and building the workforce of the future through apprenticeship schemes and work placement opportunities.