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03 May 2016

Mott MacDonald launches the first carbon calculator for BIM design

Mott MacDonald has developed the Carbon Portal, the first carbon calculator capable of measuring the capital and operational carbon footprints of building information modelling (BIM) designed assets. The tool will help provide a more effective service to clients who recognise the value of carbon reduction.

Carbon is fast catching cost as the construction industry’s new bottom line. The correlation between low carbon construction and reduced cost was identified in the UK Treasury’s Infrastructure Carbon Review in 2013. Quantifying carbon to establish a baseline is one of the crucial first steps of PAS 2080, a new industry standard on carbon management which provides guidance to those who want to cut carbon in infrastructure delivery.

Key aspects of the Carbon Portal include:

• 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 to 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 all software users. BIM data can be easily imported, with users adjusting quantity to provide immediate calculations.

• Cross-sectoral: The tool works for water, transport and power assets, with plans in place to cover further sectors in the future.

• International use: The portal is populated with UK data that already supports optioneering in all markets. Datasets are being continually refined and tailored to key regions worldwide.

Commenting on the Carbon Portal, 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.”

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