Over the last year, PhD students and lecturers at Curtin and Murdoch Universities have been been conducting worldwide research into tools that can measure and model carbon emissions and carbon consequences of variations of design in urban developments. Along with one other tool, eTool LCA was highlighted as the best in the world for quantifying and lowering the environmental impact of the built form through design. The paper was recently published by the International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses and covers the following…
Abstract: This paper examines a framework for calculating carbon dioxide equivalent (CO₂-e) emissions in urban developments, including emissions inherent in: materials, construction, operation, transport, water, and waste processes over the life cycle of a development. The paper takes a holistic approach to urban design, to include not only the CO₂-e emissions inherent in the individual buildings but also in the infrastructure and service provision of the community as a whole metabolic system.
A range of carbon assessment tools is examined to assess their capacity for measuring CO₂-e emissions in terms of this framework. The tools are reviewed for their applicability to four case studies in Western Australia: Peri-urban development (greenfield), Urban redevelopment (brownfield), Mining camps, and Indigenous communities, which demonstrate the type of settlement patterns that carbon assessment tools must respond to. The case studies are also indicative of the challenges facing other urban developments around the world in cutting CO₂-e emissions and enhancing sustainability.
The results of the study show that two tools are currently available that can measure and model carbon emissions and carbon consequences of variations of design in urban developments. The tools CCAPPrecint and eTool are highlighted in this paper as outstanding examples.
Read the full paper here