Problem Addressed

How to support net zero carbon goals by quickly analysing and clearly visualising the embodied carbon emissions of different building components and construction material options at any time during the design process.

Solution Overview

H\B:ERT (Hawkins\Brown Emissions Reduction Tool), is an easy-to-use carbon measurement tool that plugs into Revit to allow architectural teams to visualise and analyse the embodied carbon emissions of designs throughout the design process and post completion. It has been designed by designers for designers and advocates for low carbon design through making the carbon data easy to produce, benchmark and compare for decision making.

Hawkins\Brown developed H\B:ERT V1.0 to measure embodied carbon only, in collaboration with the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE) and made it freely available on its website to encourage knowledge share. To date, H\B:ERT V1.0 has been downloaded more than 1,500 times by more than 230 architecture practices, students and design professionals.

H\B:ERT works by measuring the volume of all materials tagged in the Revit model. It then applies embodied carbon data to that material, broken down into life cycle stages (product, construction, use stage and end of life) in line with BS EN 15978:2011. The tool aligns with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) guidance. Currently, it uses the Circular Ecology Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) database V3.0 by default. However, the tool can work with alternative data, such as Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) where available and input by the user.

H\B:ERT and the measurement of embodied carbon is a critical part of meeting net zero carbon targets. Hawkins\Brown advocate that carbon is seen as a new design driver alongside traditional ones such as time, cost, and quality.

The tool is freely available. There is minimal cost to anyone using it, but some cost could be incurred if the material library is added to or the tool is further integrated into work processes, but this is the choice of each party downloading.

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