Research paper looks at solution developed by Sturgis Associates to calculate buildings' whole-life CO2 emissions

The RICS has launched a research paper on calculating the whole-life carbon dioxide emissions of buildings.

The paper, called 'Redefining Zero: Carbon Profiling a solution to whole life carbon measurement', is based on work by architects Sturgis Associates and makes it possible to assess the carbon used to both make and use a building.

According to RICS it will make policy-makers and industry re-think the value of existing building stock, expose the long-term carbon costs of many low carbon devices and alter how energy use in the built environment is judged.

Current legislation only calls for the partial inclusion of the sources of CO2 generated through the building’s operation while the significant amounts of carbon used to construct the building are largely ignored.

The research paper proposes the use of a new, simple carbon metric known as Carbon Profiling which quantifies all sources of emissions associated with buildings.

Carbon Profiling links operational and embodied carbon usage so that they can be considered together. It evaluates the impacts of time and of when the emissions actually take place.