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The Structural Carbon Tool (Calculator) G#39232

The Structural Carbon Tool Calculator

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The Structural Carbon Tool Calculator

BIMPlus magazine article

Institute of Structural Engineers & ElliottWood

Launch of The Structural Carbon Tool

  • Thursday 18 March 2021
  • 18:00 – 19:15 GMT
  • This lecture provided an overview and live demonstration of The Structural Carbon Tool, an Excel-based carbon estimator developed by Elliott Wood in partnership with the Institution of Structural Engineers.
  • Will Arnold (IStructE) and Penny Gowler (Elliott Wood) will outline the background and purpose of the tool and explain how it can be used by practising engineers to aid climate-positive decision making.
  • Following a live demonstration of The Structural Carbon Tool, our expert panel will answer your questions on carbon calculations and use of the tool.

The Structural Carbon Tool


Webinar series:

  • Q&A

Mark Collier [Mar 18 – 6:19PM]

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:23PM]

  • We already do!
  • But that the awards were cancelled in 2020
  • See
  • And go down to the Minimal Intervention Category:
  • Awarded for projects which through the ingenuity of structural engineering expertise have led to no, or minimal, structural intervention in order to safely prolong the life of an existing structure.

Ricardo Molina [Mar 18 – 6:26PM]

  • Please explain sequestered carbon again?

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:29PM]

Tom Standring [Mar 18 – 6:29PM]

  • When you mentioned that the tool can had 6 models is that for the purpose of comparing options

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:30PM]

  • Yes – you could use them to compare 6 options, or you re-enter a single option 6 times, at different stages, if you want to track progress
  • (e.g. concept, scheme, detailed, tender, construction, completion?)

Jonathan Roynon [Mar 18 – 6:29PM]

  • Did the SCORS paper give a final proposed target, i only read the calculation of the structural component of the LETI and RIBA, did i miss that bit!

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:31PM]

  • We suggested that we probably need to get to an A rating by 2030, across all structures, globally.
  • We’re working with LETI and RIBA at the moment to bring everyone’s targets etc into alignment together – more on this later in the year

Katie Symons [Mar 18 – 6:31PM]

  • Do the LETI and RIBA targets only apply to structure?
  • Or have you applied some factor to those targets so that they are applicable only to the structural elements you are assessing here.

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:32PM]

Michael Cross [Mar 18 – 6:32PM]

  • Can you clarify where the carbon data is sourced from?

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:33PM]

yasemin aktas [Mar 18 – 6:34PM]

  • How can we access the tool?
  • I also wondered if the building service life was a default in the software or can one change this?

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:39PM]

  • Link for download is coming at the end….!
  • (And yes, you can edit the life of the asset)

Ross Jardine [Mar 18 – 6:34PM]

  • Is there an allowance for steel connections and hardware in timber frame/mass timber structures?

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:39PM]

  • Not built-in, you should estimate these yourself and add it in to your calculation

John Freed [Mar 18 – 6:35PM]

  • 1. How are/will be required to carry this out?
  • 2. How about instead building carbon costs into our normal pricing way of operating the whole economy?
  • So forcing all component etc. industries to they do their work.
  • 3. How we going to get everyone in the world / a major portion of them. To work on this and share the burden?
  • 4. EPD = ?

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:41PM]

  • Hi John.
  • 2 I agree that carbon costs should be included, and encourage you to propose this to your clients!
  • 3 And then, share the tool far and wide to encourage others to do this too.
  • 4 Apologies that we forgot to say what an EPD is – it’s an Environmental Product Declaration –
    • a document reporting the carbon footprint for a material or product.
    • (GBE Editor: a document reporting the Life Cycle Assessment for a material or product. Much more than Carbon Footprint)
    • More good info here:

Ahmed Abdalqader [Mar 18 – 6:40PM]

  • what is the password to unlock cell?

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:42PM]

  • carbon

Alison Church [Mar 18 – 6:41PM]

  • How do you account for removal of material (other than soil) from site eg the masonry removed from the rear elevation in the domestic example.

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:43PM]

  • Hi Alison – I’m not 100% sure on this, but I believe that unfortunately that’s not included in the RICS or EN 15978 method, as it counts as the Stage C emissions of the old building, rather than related to the new one.

Margaret Cooke [Mar 18 – 6:32PM]

  • I’m sure Penny will cover it, but if she doesn’t:
  • I’m interested in how we report carbon in refurbishment projects.
  • Do we measure the carbon in the bits we add or change and then divide by the entire useable building area?

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:45PM]

  • Yes! Convention at the moment is to treat refurb the same as new-build in this respect, and use the GIA of the whole project.
  • (Having said all of that, some people argue that this is technically a Module B emission of the original building… but it’s still for the whole GIA)!

Hamed Bayat [Mar 18 – 6:41PM]

  • Is there a way to include cladding and roof material such as GRP?

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:49PM]

  • Sure – add a custom material and off you go!

Isabella Stahl [Mar 18 – 6:43PM]

  • Are the units all metric? Is there a way to change them to US?

Will Arnold [Mar 18 – 6:49PM]

  • Yes, currently in metric, but you could unlock it if you wanted to edit this.
  • (I need to speak to SE2050 about doing this formally too!)

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
18th March 2021 – 9th April 2021

GBE Name Calculator Template


© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
18th March 2021

The Structural Carbon Tool Calculator
See Also:

GBE Satellite Websites

GBE Shop

GBE Equations

GBE Datasets

  • Generic Materials (Dataset)
  • Glazing k values (Dataset)
  • Insulation Materials k values (Dataset)
  • Secondary Elements U values (Dataset)
  • Timber Species (DatasetG#1371 N#1351
  • Embodied Energy, Carbon and Sequestered Carbon (Dataset)
  • Life Cycle Assessment Environmental Product Declaration (Dataset)

GBE Calculator

Calculators By Others

GBE Proposal

GBE Jargon Buster

Initials, Abbreviations, Acronyms:

  • AECB
  • BRE
  • C
  • CO2
  • CO2e
  • D&DT
  • EC
  • EE
  • FF
  • GBC
  • PHPP
  • RICS
  • SAP
  • SBEM
  • SC
  • TSB
  • WRAP
 Words or phrases:
  • Building Embodied Carbon
  • Building Embodied Energy
  • Building Energy Demand
  • Building Fuel demand and Carbon generated
  • Building U Value
  • CAPEM Compass (No longer)
  • Carbon lite (AECB)
  • Decrement Delay Decrement Factor (Jargon Buster) G#14043
  • Design & Decision Tools
  • Element area U Value
  • Elemental section U Value
  • Embodied Carbon (EC)
  • Embodied Energy (EE)
  • Embodied Water (EW)
  • Form Factor (FF)
  • Fuel Carbon
  • Fuel Factor
  • GBC Green Building Calculator (Navigation) G#38828
  • ICE Database (Jargon Buster) G#1018 N#1037
  • Innovate UK
  • Passivhaus
  • RetScreen
  • Scale Changer
  • Sequestered Carbon (SC)
  • Shared Earth Building Embodied Carbon
  • Thermal Bridge (Jargon Buster) G#9351
  • Thermal Break (Jargon Buster) G#9357
  • Technology Strategy Board (TSB)
  • U value
  • WasteCost®Lite (by GBE)
  • Water Calculator (by AECB)
  • Whole Building Calculator 2020 (by GBE)

GBE Links

  • AECB
  • LETI
  • WRAP
  • Association of Environment Conscious Building (AECB)
  • CarbonLite
  • GBC Green Building Calculator
  • Innovate UK
  • London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI)
  • Passivhaus
  • RetScreen
  • RIBA 2030 Carbon Challenge
  • Waste Resource Action Plan (WRAP)

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
18th March 2021

The Structural Carbon Tool Calculator G#39232 End

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