Problem Addressed

For the built environment, measuring the impact of design choices regarding embodied carbon has become imperative if we are to address the climate emergency and play our part in reaching net-zero by 2050. How can we address embodied carbon at the start of a project (RIBA Stage 0/1) to maximise its potential reduction? We need the ability to inform the initial brief and design decisions in real time before fixating on a solution. This can help optimise data driven design to strike the balance between sustainability imperatives, cost and viability parameters.   

Solution Overview

Optimising designs to minimise embodied carbon using a bespoke, data-driven analysis tool – Carbon.AKT informs designs at the very start of a project using embodied carbon as its key driver. It enables calculations of embodied carbon for multiple structural building options only needing a site outline or a simple floor plan to build upon. The speed at which the calculations are done enables designers to compare and make informed design choices. 

This bespoke parametric collaborative software has been developed in-house by AKT II’s software engineers to provide a granular analysis of carbon use. Schemes are separated into three primary embodied carbon contributors: substructure, superstructure and façade. The tool assists the making of quantitative decisions from the start, sketch design, through to the end,  detailed design. 

At sketch design, the tool allows the user to fluidly and simultaneously manipulate the orientation, massing and form of a building, with adjustable grids and interchangeable materials at the front end of a project. The seamless exploration of these intertwined parameters enables a balance between architectural vision and stakeholders and planning requirements, all informed by industry-leading carbon estimates. Clients and design team members can confidently lock a building brief and carbon targets from the beginning, tracking performance of the project as it progresses in real-time to monitor and aid in achieving sustainability targets. 

As the built environment moves to reach net-zero carbon by 2050, Carbon.AKT allows users to design intelligently from the beginning: optimising designs and swiftly finding the balance between sustainability imperatives, cost and viability parameters. 

Case Study

Current projects using Carbon.AKT are live and under an NDA. To date, the tool has allowed AKT II to compare a multitude of options at the press of a button and inform the design team with more granular detail of where the embodied carbon is. Carbon.AKT has also allowed AKT II to show potential carbon improvements when they are able to home in on current industry specific products in the market with lower EPDs – helping AKT II to go beyond the baseline.