With the public beta release of the much-anticipated Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool, the Sustainable Minds (SM) Transparency Catalog now includes the EC3 tool results making it super easy for architects, engineers, owners and construction companies (AECOs) to find lower embodied carbon (EC) products in every MasterFormat section in 1 click, and in a glance. They can find all EPDs from a manufacturer with the EC3 tool result, which links directly to the EC3 tool to enable comparisons within the category or to start modeling a project. In the EC3 tool, manufacturer and EPD pages link to their listing in the Transparency Catalog for product and contact information to connect the last mile and help get the product into the specification.
The EC3 tool is a free, open-access tool for AECOs, building material manufacturers and policy makers to easily evaluate and reduce EC emissions from construction materials to reduce EC within buildings at scale. The innovative methodology delivers a scalable way to use the global warming potential data in EPDs to compare a product's embodied EC to others in its category. The EC3 tool is being incubated by the Carbon Leadership Forum and developed with the support of nearly 50 industry partners.
Tools are only as good as the underlying data. Today's EPDs do not effectively deliver understandable, meaningful and actionable information largely due to lack of standardized reporting and delivery. Data is encoded in PDFs making it difficult to put to work. Additionally, it is common for a single EPD to cover an entire product family made at multiple facilities and report averaged results, which makes knowing the actual EC impacts for a specific product for a building in a specific location uncertain. The EC3 tool methodology rewards product and plant-specific EPDs because the data is reporting actual impacts.
"Sustainable Minds is a cloud software company and an EPD program operator with the intent to make environmental reporting simpler, more understandable, standardized and digital. Our mission is to give people the knowledge to think differently empowering them to act differently with easy to use tools that fit into current workflows," said Terry Swack, Sustainable Minds Founder & CEO. "Integrating the EC3 tool embodied carbon results into the Transparency Catalog provides a credible way to compare individual products to category performance, which is what AECOs have been begging for. The EC3 tool is more than an embodied carbon calculator. It has the potential to instigate massive changes in today's EPD reporting system and we are excited to partner with such an innovative organization to make it happen."
For manufacturers, SM is introducing affordably priced, simpler and standardized product & facility-specific EPDs to improve EC results in the EC3 tool and for Buy Clean CA Act awarding authorities. Delivered in the cloud, into the EC3 tool and in PDF, these EPDs are for manufacturers who:
- Have participated in an industry-wide EPD and would like a product-specific EPD
- Have multi-product EPDs and would like single product EPDs
- Need new EPDs for a product made at multiple facilities
"The embodied carbon of building materials offers large opportunities to reduce climate change impacts," said Phil Northcott, CEO of C Change Labs, EC3 tool developer. "When we equip professionals with actionable information that fits in their workflow, they gain important insights to influence procurement decisions, changing the market and creating clean business cases worldwide. Sustainable Minds has long been a leader in creating simple, easy to use product transparency reporting tools and is a very valuable partner."
The Sustainable Minds Transparency Catalog is the single source to access all publicly available EPDs for building products used in North America, organized by CSI MasterFormat division, the North American standard for organizing specifications for commercial and institutional building projects.