Building Element Categories

Hello all

I’ve been doing some work with the WLCN (with others) in the UK on reporting carbon at different project stages (RIBA 2, 3 & 6/7) as an ongoing planning requirement. It has got us questioning what is feasible to ask for, whose responsibility it is, what is most valuable to the design team to help reductions and what LCA stages to include and when.

I could share what we have come up with so far but it is quite a long messy work in progress spreadsheet.

But this group got me thinking about how others have been implementing Whole Life Carbon into regulation and planning. Our approach is that the role of reporting should aid low carbon design and not just be a number that is uploaded to a government portal. This is where building element categories becomes quite important as traditionally in the UK we have categorised by RICS which is driven by cost consulting essentially. These categories are not the same as how people design in my mind and do not necessarily reflect impacts of change.

I am wondering if we should be reporting on more Whole Life elements to really help design teams to think about the full carbon picture. For example rather than just reporting on Glazing embodied carbon should we also ask to report on the thermal performance of the glazing?

Anyway, I wonder if anyway has work they could share on building element categories and the approach that is used or is proposed to be used?



Hi Duncan. We’re doing a lot of thinking on this topic as glazing is in the EC3 tool and we’re looking to advance EC reporting methods.

If a glazing assembly, one would need thermal performance for nuanced evaluation (similar to concrete strength-looking for functional equivalence) but for high level assessments just using the declared unit might be fine.

All depends on the goal of study or database…