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Building Carbon Footprint Analysis

CleanMetrics now offers an integrated carbon footprint solution for building construction and operation. Using our standards-based life-cycle inventory database and our life-cycle assessment software tools, we can provide reliable and high-quality life-cycle carbon footprint assessments for the construction and operation of buildings and other infrastructure.

Why Buildings Carbon Footprints?

Food, shelter and clothing are not just the three basic necessities, but are also among the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions from a consumption perspective. Residential and commercial energy use -- primarily the operational energy use of homes and offices, including heating, cooling, lighting and running electronics -- account for 40% of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion in the United States, according to the EPA.

There are well-established standards for green construction that cover a broader spectrum of qualitative and quantitative metrics. A process-oriented life-cycle carbon footprint analysis is a complementary analytical tool that focuses attention on hot spots and inefficiencies over the entire life cycle, and provides a framework for trade-offs and optimization.

What are Building Carbon Footprints?

The carbon footprint of a building or infrastructure is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted over the life cycle of that building, expressed as kilograms of CO2 equivalents. This includes all greenhouse gases generated in the manufacture of the raw materials, construction of the building, transport of materials to the construction site, operation of the building, periodic refurbishment and replacement of materials, and end-of-life disposal of the building materials. The life cycle carbon footprint of a building or infrastructure system is a crucial performance metric that should be monitored and optimized.

Why CleanMetrics?

At CleanMetrics, we have worked on a broad range of commercial projects using life-cycle methods and focused on carbon footprints. Our work has included analyses of construction materials and products, as well as development of software tools and databases designed for comprehensive life cycle assessments of buildings from construction to operation to end of life. One of our core software products is BuildingScope, a web-based life-cycle assessment tool focusing on greenhouse gas emissions and energy use in buildings. Our mission is to help your business address the challenge of sustainable production and consumption with the best collection of tools, data and expertise.

Our modeling and analysis generally include these key features:

  • Energy use and GHG emissions in the construction phase -- including materials, freight transport, energy, and water used to produce modular components, assemblies and entire buildings.
  • Carbon emissions and sequestration due to land-use changes, landscaping, and concrete carbonation at the building site.
  • Solid waste and wastewater generated during construction and at end of life.
  • Energy and water used and wastewater generated during the operational phase of buildings.
  • Time-delayed GHG emissions and time-based carbon storage in building life cycles.

Our life-cycle inventory database includes cradle-to-gate and/or unit process data for everything needed to perform a complete life-cycle carbon footprint analysis of building systems:

  • Full range of virgin and recycled materials used in building construction -- including all types of quarried materials, cement, concrete, mortars, wood, metals, rubber, plastics, glass, and insulation.
  • Transportation, warehousing, fuels, and electricity by grid regions.
  • All common waste disposal methods -- such as landfill, incineration, compost, reuse and recycling -- including energy recovery options.

The database is fully integrated with our life-cycle assessment software tools and can be easily customized for your specific application. We are continually adding data for more products/processes to the database. We also offer a low-cost rapid research option to add data for specific products or processes that you may need for your application.

Our Solutions

We offer a range of solutions depending on your needs and in-house expertise.

  • For organizations with internal expertise in life-cycle assessment and product carbon footprints, we can license our software products with integrated life-cycle inventory database. We can also license our database separately if you have other means of performing the analyses.
  • For organizations that are looking for a turn-key solution, we can use our software tools, database and technical expertise to provide a complete end-to-end solution and deliver analytical results tailored for your specific business needs.

You can use our solutions in a variety of ways:

  • Provide consumer information such as product carbon labels or purchasing guides.
  • Provide investor information such as corporate environmental reports.
  • Identify hot spots in the construction and operation of buildings, and make your building/infrastructure project more carbon efficient on a life-cycle basis.

Copyright 2007-2011 by CleanMetrics Corp. All rights reserved.
CleanMetrics, CargoScope, CarbonScope, BuildingScope, CarbonScopeData, FoodCarbonScope, Deep Carbon Footprinting, and MetaFlowScope are trademarks of CleanMetrics Corp.

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