Embodied Carbon Analysis

Methods of measuring the operational energy of buildings are well established. There is now an awareness of the importance of considering the ‘embodied’ CO2 emissions generated from the energy needed for the extraction, processing, transport and installation of building materials.

In collaboration with the University of Brighton as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, Phlorum have developed a software tool to measure embodied carbon in new developments.

Our detailed modelling tool provides a bespoke analysis of embodied carbon to produce a lifecycle analysis of materials from cradle to grave, including a consideration of construction, demolition and recycling impacts. This allows designers and developers to fine tune their decisions to take account of their CO2 impact. It is envisaged that the tool can be used to support developers’ environmental strategies and demonstrate to clients and planners that they are ‘ahead of the game’ in considering the environmental impact of their work.

Our embodied carbon ‘quick calculator’ (see below) enables you to broadly estimate the amount of embodied CO2 for your building project and takes account of emissions from the extraction, processing and installation of materials.

We are developing this tool further to include additional materials and building types and to take account of emissions from transport. We also plan to include a facility to add operational carbon emissions to produce a ‘whole life’ carbon emission figure for your project.

Using the Quick Embodied Carbon Estimator

In order to keep the tool straightforward to use, the actual resultant figures will necessarily be estimates - in order to keep the tool simple to use - the relative differences between different materials and techniques are accurately represented.

  1. Begin by entering the approximate size of your building, the tool will then be able to tell you the tonnes of embodied carbon dioxide (t eCO2) for a building with your given dimensions - if it were to be built using typical 20th century British construction techniques.
  2. You can now move down through the list of options comparing and choosing different styles and materials for each component of the build.
  3. For further information, click on the ? next to each option to give more detail on costs and benefits. The link will take you to an external web site which provides more information. If you click on the link it will open in a new tab or window. When finished, you can close that window to return here without losing your work so-far.
  4. Please choose the material or technique which most closely reflects the technique which you will use.
  5. The graphs on the right automatically respond to choices made for each component - helping you assess the most appropriate measures for the development.
  6. As soon as it has sufficient data, the tool will also give a figure for the tonnes of embodied CO2 which correspond to the choices which you have made.
  7. If you believe the technique which you wish to use differs significantly from the closest available option, please contact Phlorum and/or detail the differences in the text box towards the bottom of the page.
  8. Once you have chosen the construction method for all of the listed building components:
    • Click Save and Close (you will then view a summary of your commitments, and be able to save a PDF of the results for your records

If you have any problems or queries when using the embodied carbon assessment tool, please email info@phlorum.com.

Building dimensions
Concrete Foundations

Ground Floor

Upper Floors


Exterior Finish
Internal Walls

Enter any other measures taken to address the environmental impact of materials here:

Thank you for using the embodied carbon assessment tool.

Click Recalculate to see updated results. Click Save & Finish to complete your response.