Sweco uses an open database to calculate construction emissions

Image: Sweco

Sweco’s automatic carbon footprint calculator has been integrated into the Tekla Structures data modelling software for structural design. With this add-on, designers can already view emission figures for entire models or parts thereof as early as in the design stage. This data is then provided to customers as part of the structural design.

The Finnish Ministry of the Environment and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) maintain the construction emission data-base (co2data.fi) that the add-on uses as its generic emission database. Designers now only need to select a structure in the design view to see its emission effects, which gives the data much more real-life value.

– This powerful tool gives us a genuine ability to assess, compare and illustrate alternative solutions from a sustainability perspective and to offer our customers environmentally friendly alternatives in all our projects, explains Ismo Tawast, Manager Director at Sweco specialising in structural engineering.

As emissions from energy production fall, material choices gain importance. Structures can account for up to more than 70% of a building’s carbon footprint in energy-efficient new buildings. This means the most important climate solutions are made on the design table.

– Designers should now assess emission impacts and consider alternatives as part of their daily routine. This is made easy by automated and integrated tools that help outline the critical elements and how they relate to reducing emissions. It’s great that the Finnish Ministry of the Environment provides an open database to promote community and a shared understanding, says Mia Andelin, Chief Sustainability Officer at Sweco.

Read the article in Finnish: Sweco hyödyntää avointa tietokantaa rakentamisen päästöjen laskennassa