The European Federation of Foundation Contractors (EFFC) and the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) are urging the geotechnical sector to make immediate use of their jointly-developed, pioneering carbon calculator tool, the Geotechnical Carbon Calculator.
Developed using internationally recognized standards, the Geotechnical Carbon Calculator is believed to be one of the construction industry’s first standardized and collaboratively produced carbon calculator tools at the European and international level.
Carbon measurement is at the core of the construction industry’s approach to sustainability. The Geotechnical Carbon Calculator uses a standardized emission factors database to make the analysis of the carbon footprint of a foundation project consistent and comparable across the foundation industry.
It will allow foundation contractors to evaluate the carbon footprint of their designs, provide clients with verifiable and standardized data about the carbon footprint of their foundations and enable clients to compare the carbon footprint of one proposal against another.
Work on the calculator, which started in March 2012, has been led by a steering group formed from DFI and EFFC members, and chaired by Marine Lasne, sustainability director at Soletanche Freyssinet and chair of DFI’s Sustainability Committee. Technical development has been undertaken by carbon consulting firm Carbone 4.
The standardized carbon emissions database covers various foundation and ground engineering techniques, and currently includes bored piles, displacement piles, micropiles, diaphragm and slurry walls, sheet pile walls, grouting and soil mixing.
“The way the industry has collaborated through the EFFC and DFI to provide data and fund the project is a real achievement,” says Lasne. “Several European companies had already developed their own calculator and agreed to share their knowledge to reach the best possible common denominator for all. The calculator will have a significant impact on the ability to demonstrate and compare the sustainability of different foundation techniques”, she says, “but success will come from widespread use of the system and we must ensure that it becomes known and accepted by clients so use and promotion of the calculator by everyone in the industry
The calculator is free to download, but users are required to register to use the site at www.geotechnicalcarboncalculator.com . The site includes full information on the principals and methodology used in the calculator; as well as a detailed user guide.