The Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) is a free, open-access tool that assists architects, engineers, and contractors in determining the embodied carbon in building materials, allowing them to make informed decisions about materials having the least impact on the environment.
Microsoft, along with Skanska and C-Change Labs, developed the EC3 tool, which after its incubation at the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF), brought together a network of nearly 50 private companies and NGOs ready to fund the tool and scale it across the construction sector.
Later on, a nonprofit organization named Building Transparency, was handed over the responsibility to manage and further develop the EC3 tool. The organization also provides education and resources to encourage the adoption of EC3 in the construction industry.
EC3 gets its data from verified third-party documentation called Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which helps it compare the carbon intensity of available materials that meet required specifications, enabling quick and climate-smart substitutions.
Additionally, the EC3 tool enables owners, green building certification programs, and legislators to evaluate supply chain data in order to develop EPD criteria and establish embodied carbon limitations and reductions at the material and project level.
The EC3 tool is available for free and will continue to improve as more EPDs are manually added to a searchable database that presently contains over 17,000 unique materials.