Last edited 04 May 2016

Carbon Portal for BIM

The global management, engineering and development consultancy Mott MacDonald has developed the Carbon Portal. This is the first carbon calculator capable of measuring the capital and operational carbon footprint of building information modelling (BIM) designed assets. The tool is intended to help provide a more effective service to clients who recognise the value of carbon reduction.

Since 47% of UK carbon emissions are generated by, or influenced by, the construction industry, and 80% of those emissions are from buildings in use, carbon is becoming the industry’s new ‘bottom line’. In 2013, the UK Treasury’s Infrastructure Carbon Review identified the correlation between low carbon construction and reduced cost.

Key aspects of the Carbon Portal include:

  • A focus on assets, not materials: By providing carbon calculations for BIM objects and entire assets, the portal provides essential information as to where savings can be made at both planning and design stages.
  • Rapid calculations: Carbon assessments using spreadsheets can take hours or even days. The portal reduces this to as little as 30 seconds.
  • Optioneering: Users are able to quickly calculate the capital and operational carbon footprint of competing designs and see the impact of design modifications across the entire project.
  • Ease of use: The portal is based on a drag and drop system which is intuitive to use. BIM data can be easily imported, with users adjusting quantities to provide immediate calculations.
  • Cross-sectoral: The tool works for water, transport and power assets, with plans in place to cover more sectors in the future.
  • International use: The portal is populated with UK data that supports optioneering in all markets. Datasets are being continually refined and tailored to key regions worldwide.

Mott MacDonald’s global sustainability leader Davide Stronati said:

“As the importance of carbon management increases across the industry, we expect carbon to become fully embedded alongside scheduling and cost details as the sixth dimension of BIM, with automated carbon assessments informing the design process.

This will take time, however will be driven by the many benefits clients are already enjoying by cutting carbon. The Carbon Portal will help us and our clients achieve the low carbon outcomes that the PAS 2080 process supports.”

For more information, see Mott MacDonald.

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