RICS Whole life carbon assessment (WLCA) for the built environment

The much anticipated revised RICS whole life carbon assessment (WLCA) standard is now available. This 2nd edition builds upon the success of the existing RICS WLCA standard, having been extended to cover all buildings and infrastructure throughout the built environment life cycle. It will enable professionals to make prudent decisions to limit the whole life carbon impact of buildings and infrastructure. It facilitates carbon measurement from the production of construction materials to the design, construction and eventual end of life of built assets.

In the UK, RICS is part of a cross-industry group collaborating to develop the UK Net Zero Carbon Building Standard (NZCBS), which will set out metrics by which net-zero carbon performance is evaluated for buildings. The measurement of carbon emissions to meet the standard will be in accordance with the RICS WLCA standard, and the repository where the data is submitted and stored for benchmarking will be the Built Environment Carbon Database (BECD).

This standard can be used by a range of professionals, from quantity surveyors, cost consultants and building surveyors to designers, engineers and environmental, social and governance consultants, enabling them to meet client demand by measuring and managing carbon emissions in a reliable and consistent manner.

Contractors and developerscan use WLCA for a consistent reporting approach that will help them to deliver against both government and client demands for the measurement of embodied carbon, net-zero buildings and infrastructure. WLCA can also give financial decision-makers such as investors, lenders and others a long-term view of cost and carbon throughout the asset’s life cycle, promoting sustainable and low-carbon building and infrastructure investments.

ASBP Board member, Jane Anderson, has contributed to the WLCA standard, alongside co-authors Simon Sturgis (Team leader); Paul Astle MEng MPhil, CEng, MIStructE; Louisa Bowles MA(Cantab), DipArch, RIBA, ARB; Lee Leston-Jones BEng ,PhD, CEng, MIStructE; Dr Qian Li MIEMA, CEnv; Athina Papakosta Meng, MSc; Louise Hamot, M.Arch, MSc Eng; Clara Bagenal George, MEng, CEng, MCIBSE

The whole life carbon assessment (WLCA) standard  can be downloaded from the Royal Institution of Surveyors website.

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