Curtins turn industry heads on embodied carbon conversations

curtins author
Curtins on 4th Apr 2023


Early project engagement in lower embodied carbon solutions was the topic of conversation our recent event on ‘Measuring and Reducing Embodied Carbon in Construction’; and the message to “use less stuff” was heard loud and clear.

The Place Hotel’s conference centre in Edinburgh was filled to capacity on Wednesday 29th March for our sold-out breakfast seminar, delivered in partnership with Scottish Futures Trust.

We invited industry guests to join the discussion on embodied carbon, led by Curtins’ experts Niamh McCloskey (Sustainability Coordinator), Scott Prichard (Digital Delivery Manager) and Gordon McPherson (Associate Engineer in Edinburgh).

Between the three Curtins’ speakers, our team illustrated the significance of the carbon emergency and Curtins’ plan of measurement and reduction. This, as was explained to the audience, has included the development of our carbon calculator that reflects IStructE data, bespoke automation for project carbon data capture and analysis in Revit, and more recently the development of our Carbon Database.

It is through the latter that we have now gathered enough real project data to set targets for carbon reduction in our projects.

Curtins turn industry heads on embodied carbon conversations

During the session, Gordon McPherson demonstrated how our projects in Scotland are benchmarking against others in the carbon database, and illustrated how innovative engineering can achieve a balance between embodied carbon reduction and meeting building requirements.

Steven Anderson of public sector infrastructure body, the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) also joined the panel to share the standards and key drivers it is setting on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Central to his talk was the multi-billion-pound Learning Estate Investment Programme, which has operational and embodied carbon targets for schools that are tied to funding through an innovative outcomes-based funding model.

SFT’s call to action to the industry was clear: share project data with them so that they are able to build a picture of Scotland’s impact.

This fed through into the closing Q&A, which centred around room-wide acknowledgement that we must bring discussions of embodied carbon solutions in as a design driver during early concept phases.

We must be honest, we must be data-centred to ensure clients are informed on the design decisions of the three key project drivers: cost, time and carbon.

With our Carbon Database, and its ability to present sector and material impact trends, this could now be possible.

If you would like to find out more about our approach to sustainability and carbon toolkits, please get in touch with our Sustainability Coordinator, Niamh McCloskey.

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