Whilst Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) seems to be incomprehensible and generate incomprehensibly small values, and feel a step too far for most designers we know.
Embodied energy, embodied carbon and sequestered carbon (EE EC SC) however are issues they can easily comprehend and definitely want to address in their quest to drive down carbon dioxide in materials and construction of their designs.
Inconsistent Method non-comparable Datasets
Some readymade collections of data (Datasets) exist but the data was and still is usually extracted from LCA and EPD.
LCA before EN 15804 were generated using inconsistent methods and so were not comparable; older data is likely to be inconsistent with itself and with the newer EPD data based on EN 15804, and the resulting information had been used by others as if equal or abused by the unscrupulous.
ICE database is a collection of inconsistently created LCA extracted data on Embodied Energy and Embodied Carbon, however now that many more 9000 No. EPD exist in 2020 many of the recent LCA and EPD that inform ICE are developed in accordance with EN15804 so the aggregation of results generate a more accurate average value for material EPD and our calculations.
Bath University Inventory of Carbon & Energy (ICE) early editions had data from those early LCA and was inconsistent, but for a long time it was the only data source we had.
Inconsistent output > Consistent processing
The ICE data is also delivered in different formats for different material or component formats, most by per m3 (E.g. insulation) and some by area (e.g. windows)
So the information needs to be put into a spreadsheet and used in different calculations for them to be able to be totalled at element or building level.
GBE Green Building Calculator
GBC developed a spreadsheet to contain ICE Version 1 and ICE Version 1.6 to permit those elemental and whole building calculations to occur simply.
That dataset updated and incorporating ICE Version 3 converted to a ‘Look up Table’ feeding into a MS Excel spreadsheet worksheet is now part of Green Building Calculator (GBC) Version 2 and informs both EE EC SC and LCA calculations.
ICE database as PDF publication
- Full BSRIA ICE guide 2011 on GBE
Version 1.6a as a MS Excel dataset look up table worksheet on GBE
Version 1 to 1.6a as a MS Excel Calculator:
Version 1 to 1.6a as a Whole Building Calculator
Version 3.0 (current) on-line at
Version 3.0 on GBE
As part of a set of Top Trumps playing cards
- GBE Toolbox G#1141 N#1148
- Embodied Carbon Database Launched 10/04/2014
GBE Jargon Buster
- LCA Life Cycle Analysis/Assessment (JBT) G#1338 N#1325
- Carbon Buzz (Jargon Buster) G#973 N#994
- Carbon Dioxide
- Design & Decision Tools
- Embodied Carbon
- Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
- CAP’EM Compass Building Products Comparison System G#721 N#743
- CAP’EM DEFINITIONS
- CAP’EM TRANSLATOR
- Carbon lite
- Carbon Buzz (Database) G#1113 N#1131
- IES VE
- RIBA digital PLAN OF WORK
- Shaped Earth Embodied Carbon (Database) G#1307 N#1298
- GBE Waste Cost Lite (Calculator) G#531 N#551