New Free Calculator Measures Carbon Footprint of Buildings

Builders for Climate Action developed new calculator that can measure carbon footprint of new buildings to establish sustainability culture.

Calculating the carbon footprint of buildings has never been easy, but now there’s a new tool that may turn the tables. 

BEAM Estimator is a free tool that can tell you what is the carbon footprint of your building materials and what you can do to reduce that impact. 

The company behind the Estimator is the Canadian group called Builders for Climate Action. According to Treehugger, they work with builders, designers, developers and manufacturers to tackle the impact of buildings on climate. 

“At its helm is Chris Magwood, director of research at Builders for Climate Action and a Treehugger regular. Here at Treehugger, we have long discussed the importance of carbon emissions rather than energy efficiency, which everyone has worried about for 50 years. In particular, we have stressed the importance of embodied carbon—an unseen area of the building industry.”

Embodied carbon includes the total emissions that come from making, maintaining, and the end of life material that are used in buildings and products. 

As architects and designers became more informed about embodied carbon, they found it difficult to measure. Existing tools, such as the EC3 were designed for bigger projects, or too complex to use. 

Once architects recognized that the focus should be on carbon and not merely energy, every little piece fell in place and the BEAM tool was born.

Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.

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