Two members of our UK Sustainability team were proud co-authors of the second edition of the Whole Life Carbon Assessment for the Built Environment standard (WLCA), recently released in the UK by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).
Louise Hamot, Global Lead of Sustainable Innovation, and Clara Bagenal George, Associate, worked with other industry leaders to develop this groundbreaking guide. Their primary focus areas were on operational carbon, in particular energy usage, and embodied carbon as it relates to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
WLCA sets out standards and understanding of carbon costs in the building industry, presenting ways to manage carbon budgets and cut down on emissions. At the same time, it examines how design choices can have a positive influence on construction and infrastructure projects and assets.
The standard was originally published in 2017 just for the UK’s built environment sector. RICS revised this second edition so that the standard could be applied globally, encompassing all infrastructure projects and built assets throughout their whole life cycle. At its heart are three themes: reuse, recycling, and redevelopment.
The WLCA standard enables assessors to gauge how much carbon is emitted throughout a building’s lifecycle, encompassing embodied carbon, operational carbon, and user carbon. As part of its efforts to spread the word, RICS will showcase the standard at COP28 in Dubai in early December 2023.
“The Whole Life Carbon Assessment standard gives our industry consistent ways to measure carbon emissions,” says Clara. “This practical application of European methodology is now a recipe for change in the built environment around the world.”
Clara Bagenal George joined David Partridge, Chairman of Related Argent and also a co-author of the WLCA, for a discussion on the RICS podcast about the second edition. Topics covered included:
How BECD and the Whole Life Carbon Assessment methodology work together in tandem
Why the Net Zero Carbon Building Standard is so essential for the industry
David and Clara’s personal pursuits for more carbon-conscious lifestyles
Trying to overcome reliance on third parties to make your own positive changes
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