GBE Whole Building EE EC SC Calculator G#1910 N#1764

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GBE Whole Building EE EC SC Calculator

GBE Whole Building EE EC SC Calculator

EE EC SC = Embodied Energy, Embodied Carbon, Sequestered Carbon

A few years back I (BrianSpecMan) was asked to speak about resource efficiency to post graduates in architecture at London South Bank University (LSBU) and to support their studio projects by introducing Embodied Energy (EE) and Embodied Carbon (EC) and getting the students to calculate the impacts of their current studio design projects.

Knowing this task could generate a car-boot sale of responses that would be difficult to compare I decided a common tool was necessary and I set about creating it:

  • Initially I collected together the current public domain, easy to access information in the form of the ICE database Version 1 with all of its idiosyncrasies and inconsistencies.
  • I set them all out in a spreadsheet splitting ICE materials from ICE assemblies (e.g. windows) to allow the students to add the correct dimension and quantities to get comparable and total-able results.
  • I created a building object that included 1m3 of all the materials we had data on; all the students needed to do was to change 1 x 1 x 1m to 20 x 40 x 0.25m to create a floor add the number of floors and duplicate the row and modify it to turn it into a wall.
  • I also added a yes/no column to allow student to choose the materials used in the building and delete the rest.
  • A pretty clunky tool if you ask me, but deadlines dictate.
  • The following year I was asked to add in a Carbon Sequestration (CS) calculation to enable the timber enthusiasts to see the benefit of using renewable materials.  This was welcomed.
  • I also added the ICE version 1.6; GreenSpec material data and EcoConstruction Trumps data.

GBE Whole Building U-Value to In-use Carbon Calculator 

Subsequently I was asked to address energy in-use and carbon in-use and created a whole building calculator to determine energy consumption and carbon generated or released.

  • I created rows for separate external envelope elements: roofs, ground and basement floors, basement and external walls along with windows, doors and rooflights;
  • I also added internal walls, partitions and suspended floors, separating party walls and compartment walls; basements and communal areas with different internal and external temperatures
  • I added default U values that can be replaced by the Students with their chosen construction values,
  • I add default values that can be replaced: students add lengths, heights, areas, numbers and include internal and external temperatures, hours of use and choose heating fuel by choosing from drop down menus.
  • Data from Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was used to convert energy demand to carbon.
  • What I found most useful about the tool is to see the relative % of total heat loss through different elements and windows, doors and rooflights; what becomes clear is the importance of spending good money on insulation and on windows, doors and rooflights in particular.
  • What was also useful is with many student’s projects they could compare results of many buildings, methods of construction, etc.

Updating GBE Whole Building EE EC SC calculator

This second tool was a lot more elegant than the first so I revisited the first:

  • I copied the whole house U value calculator into the embodied/sequestered tool, stripped out the U value calculations, replaced them with EE, EC, SC calculations.
  • I attempted to use Excel VLOOKUP function to populate the calculator with material data sets but after a frustrating half-day gave up and wrote instruction for the students to populating the cells manually using a simple cell = worksheet x cell NL and drag the cell created to populate other cells, a bit clumsy, but deadlines drive demands.
  • The first capable student to use it spotted the weakness and spent half a day working out how VLOOKUP worked and beat it, a better man than me.
  • He sent it back to me, I checked it, confirmed it was sound, updated the instruction and reissued to the students.
  • On Friday I will see the results, no doubt there will be teething problems.

User interest

I took the time to publish the calculators

  • on the student’s private page on my website
  • in a public page for anybody to use
  • as always I used twitter: @BrianSpecMan Murphy and @GBEGreenBuild, facebook: /brianspecman, LinkedIn and Google+: /BrianSpecMan to promote the existence of the new GBE Calculators
  • I saw an increase in interest, which I hope to build on.
  • I have had a thank-you for the tool, data volunteered by users, questions asked and answered

Future development of this calculator

  • I attended GD Tech Roundtable and met Virtual Visualisation’s MD
  • I will arrange a meeting to discuss possibilities of developing Apps to host the functions of the GBE Calculators

Future Calculators

Some of the data offered is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data, a wider dataset than ICE’s EE & EC

  • This brings to mind the European Interreg funded project Cycle Assessment Procedure for Eco-impacts of Materials (CAPEM); BrianSpecMan was a team member and we completed last year
  • CAPEM Compass a Building Products Comparison System which allow you to choose materials and products for all the right reasons and then compare the LCA of shortlisted materials and products.
  • Taking control from LCA experts and giving it back to designers and specifiers.
  • To be really useful we need to develop an elemental and whole building calculator to build on the materials, products and components tool; still keeping the control in the hands of the designers and specifiers.
  • Having completed the most recent tool I can see a way to create the next tool making the most of more datasets GBE has created but not yet put to use.
  • The use of VLOOKUP allows adding materials and HLOOKUP would allow adding readymade building elemental assemblies to react with the VLOOKUP material datasets
  • If we then add to or replace the EE EC SC data with LCA datasets from CAPEM Compass we can now create the elemental and whole building LCA tool
  • We had hoped to keep the CAPEM project alive with Build4LIFE funding bid to disseminate more widely the benefits of the tool, we now have to find other ways of keeping the project team together and the tool alive.

If the particular surge in interest turns out to be substantial we could turn this interest into a Crowd Fund campaign to generate money to afford the time to create the GBE Element to Whole Building LCA tool.

Watch this space….

© GBE NGS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
Thursday, 7 May 2015 updated 20:50 pm
Polling day, go vote Green

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
8th May 2015 – 13th March 2016

GBE Whole Building EE EC SC calculator

GBE Whole Building EE EC SC Calculator png

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
8th May 2015 – 25th March 2016

GBE Whole Building EE EC SC calculator
See Also:

GBE Shop

GBE Calculators

GBE DataSets

GBE Equations

GBE Jargon Buster

  • %%% needs more work here
  • London South Bank University (LSBU)
  • Embodied Energy (EE)
  • Embodied Carbon (EC)
  • ICE database Version 1
  • Carbon Sequestration (CS)
  • ICE version 1.6
  • GreenSpec material data
  • EcoConstruction Trumps data.
  • GBE Whole building U-Value to In-use Carbon Calculator
  • external envelope elements: roofs, ground and basement floors, basement and external walls along with windows, doors and rooflights;
  • U values
  • Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
  • U value calculations,
  • EE, EC, SC calculations.
  • Excel VLOOKUP function
  • twitter:
  • @BrianSpecMan Murphy
  • @GBEGreenBuild,
  • facebook: /brianspecman,
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+: /BrianSpecMan
  • GBE Calculators
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • ICE’s EE & EC
  • Interreg
  • Cycle Assessment Procedure for Eco-impacts of Materials (CAPEM)
  • CAPEM Compass a Building Products Comparison System
  • GBE
  • EE EC SC
  • Build4LIFE

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
8th May 2015 – 13th March 2016




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