The IStructE’s How to Calculate Embodied Carbon guide (HTCEC), published in August 2020, was written to provide a common set of embodied carbon calculation principles, recommended data and guidance to improve the consistency and quality of embodied carbon calculations across the structural engineering community to help us find ways to minimise embodied carbon. It has reached a large portion of the structural engineering community, with over 8000 individual downloads.
HTCEC was originally written with full knowledge that there were gaps or limitations to the embodied carbon data and guidance available and therefore knew that it would need future updates. Since August 2020, the industry’s understanding of embodied carbon has developed and the availability and quality of carbon data, research and thought leadership has increased. This is evidenced through the wealth of climate emergency-related articles published in The Structural Engineer magazine, for example.
The 2nd Edition of HTCEC published in March 2022 with updates and additions to guidance and carbon data to reflect the availability of this in the industry. The updates have been informed by a thorough review process involving members of the IStructE who specialize in embodied carbon, expert members of trade associations and whole life carbon industry experts.
The following summarises the key updates made to HTCEC: