Actuate UK welcomes launch of carbon calculator


23 February 2022

Engineering services alliance Actuate UK has welcomed CIBSE’s new Embodied Carbon Calculator tool, allowing easy estimates of the embodied carbon associated with mechanical, electrical and public health systems in buildings.

The digital tool is designed to support consultants, researchers and manufacturers to implement CIBSE TM65 Embodied carbon in building services: a calculation methodology, by performing the calculations set out in the document. CIBSE Technical Memorandum 65, published last year, enables the calculation of embodied carbon of building services equipment when no Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is available.

Embodied carbon is associated with the extraction of materials, manufacture, repair, disassembly and disposal. Environmental product declarations (EPDs) are a standardised way of showing the embodied carbon and other environmental impacts of a product. However, because of the complexity of building services products and their supply chains, very few building services equipment manufacturers offer EPDs.

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Paul Reeve, from Actuate UK’s Net Zero Group, said: “Communicating the embodied carbon of electrical and electronic equipment and other building services products is a new challenge, and opportunity, for our sector. Buyers are increasingly requiring mechanical, electrical & plumping (MEP) contractors to show how they are including embodied carbon in their carbon impact measurements - the new toolkit provides a technically sound, but also highly pragmatic, approach to help both manufacturers and contractors achieve this”.

To use the tool, a manufacturer will complete the manufacturer form describing the materials used in the product. Using this data, a user can complete either a basic embodied carbon calculation, when limited information is available, or a more robust mid-level calculation. Once the user has added contact details and completed consent to publication details, the result may be used as a self-assessed value for the embodied carbon of the product.

Using this tool as a supplement, TM65 will provide engineers with a consistent approach to the way embodied carbon calculations for building services products are carried out and reported. 

  • Actuate UK, the alliance of eight engineering services bodies, is helping the industry deliver net zero carbon targets. Find out more about Actuate UK’s net zero work