Last edited 27 Nov 2020

Embodied carbon

Climate Emergency Design Guide: How new buildings can meet UK climate change’, published by the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) in January 2020 defines embodied carbon (EC) (or embedded carbon) as:

‘The carbon emissions associated with the extraction and processing of materials and the energy and water consumption used by the factory in producing products and constructing the building. It also includes the ‘in-use’ stage (maintenance, replacement, and emissions associated with refrigerant leakage) and ‘end of life’ stage (demolition, disassembly, and disposal of any parts of product or building) and any transportation relating to the above.’

It defines upfront embodied carbon as:

‘The carbon emissions associated with the extraction and processing of materials, the energy and water consumption used by the factory in producing products, transporting materials to site, and constructing the building.’

And whole life carbon (WLC) as including:

‘… embodied carbon, as defined above, and operational carbon. The purpose of using WLC is to move towards a building or a product that generates the lowest carbon emissions over its whole life (sometimes referred as ‘cradle-to-grave’).’

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