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04 August 2009

Construction carbon calculator

Mott MacDonald’s new cost and carbon modelling tool enables the whole life impact of design and construction decisions to be assessed.

Mott MacDonald’s construction economics business, Franklin + Andrews, has launched an industry-first cost and carbon modelling tool.

“By looking at all of the parts that make up a building or piece of infrastructure, this tool enables us to quantify initial construction costs and embodied carbon.

It also calculates the cost and carbon for every operation and maintenance activity,” explains Franklin + Andrews associate James Fiske. “For the first time, users can make strategic decisions based on financial and environmental performance throughout and asset’s life.

“You can reflect specific project needs or examine particular issues,” James adds. “For example, you can model the impact of transporting materials, plant and labour to site over different distances and using different methods. “Depending on where a structure will be built, different life expectancy values are given for constituent parts, affecting maintenance periods, cleaning regimes, and cycles for repair and replacement. Wastage factors for different materials and construction processes are incorporated.

Cost data takes account of inflation, including local market factors, enabling customers to determine capital, operating, maintenance and repair costs.

“The current economic climate is lending focus to whole life cost performance,” James comments. “It is realistic to save 30% of the whole life cost of an asset by considering future performance at an early stage.
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