Carbon calculator wins national sustainability award
April 18, 2012 at 4:28 PM
A calculator that can estimate how much carbon is emitted from buildings at the planning application stage has scooped a national award.
The calculator has been developed by Brighton-based environmental consultancy, Phlorum, and is based on work undertaken with the University of Brighton.
The original work on embodied carbon generated a tool that estimates the full life-cycle carbon emissions from the production of materials, construction and operation of buildings and was developed as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Phlorum and the university’s Centre for Sustainability of the Built Environment.
Phlorum adapted this work with Brighton &Hove City Council to develop a tool which is now used to assess planning applications. It assesses ‘cradle-to-gate’ embodied carbon.
The calculator recently won the Product of the Year category at the Sustain Magazine Awards for Sustainability, Business and the Built Environment.
The KTP gave Phlorum access to the latest research into sustainable building design and carbon impacts. By the end of the KTP, the project had delivered a unique computer-based model to evaluate the carbon emissions associated with the whole life impacts of buildings for domestic, non-domestic and high-rise properties.
Brighton & Hove City Council is now using the calculator as part of their planning system and all new build housing applications must use the tool as part of the council’s sustainability checklist.
Professor Andrew Miller and Dr Kenneth Ip led the academic research for the university. They said: “The KTP gave us the opportunity to work with an innovative environmental consultancy and with a practical application for our on-going environmental performance of buildings research whilst developing a useful environmental assessment tool catering for practitioners.”
Phlorum Ltd directors, Dr Paul Beckett and Richard Schofield, said: “This achievement would not have been possible without the KTP and the input from the University of Brighton.
“The KTP has been a very useful experience. As well as developing a new capability for us and a new consultancy stream for the business, it has also enabled us to get closer links with the University of Brighton, Brighton &Hove City Council, and with key decision makers in the area.”
Cllr Phelim MacCafferty, Brighton & Hove City Council, Chair of Planning, said:
“It is exciting to introduce this groundbreaking new tool and work with developers to deliver more sustainable buildings in the city. This tool means we can address carbon emitted from the construction of buildings as well as carbon emitted throughout their occupation.
“The tool makes it easier for developers to design environmentally-friendly buildings. We already have a great collection of sustainable buildings here and this is another step in our ambition to make Brighton & Hove one of the greenest cities in the UK.”
This project forms part of a strong KTP portfolio within the university, including a number of projects in the areas sustainability and the environment. For more information on our KTP portfolio please visit the KTP section of our website: http://www.brighton.ac.uk/ccp/ktp/.