Carbon Footprint Calculator

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has unveiled Green Footstep, a free online carbon calculator for reducing carbon emissions in building construction and retrofit projects. 

While many carbon calculators are available online, none address multiple building emissions over the building lifetime. “Green Footstep makes it easier for design professionals to set the design targets theyll need to achieve a carbon neutrality that includes not just operation, but also embodied carbon and others,” said Victor Olgyay, AIA, principal at RMI.  “Just as a life cycle cost analysis of a green building design shows the operating costs you are saving over time, Green Footstep shows you the saved carbon.” 

Green Footstep also shows designers how to comply with specific design goals such as LEEDs energy credits and the 2030 Challenge, the organization that has challenged designers to make all new buildings carbon neutral by 2030.  Edward Mazria , founder and executive director of Architecture 2030, says, “Rocky Mountain Institute’s Green Footstep is an extremely valuable goal-setting and evaluation tool that will help building designers assess a project’s carbon emission impacts with regard to site, construction, and operations.  Because the 2030 Challenge is integrated into the program, this tool can also help designers in their efforts to meet or exceed the 2030 Challenge targets.” 

The Green Footstep tool can be used on residential and commercial new and retrofit building construction projects, from pre-design through occupancy. The tool 

  • Assesses your design’s total carbon footprint due to site development, construction, and operation
  • Helps designers and other project stakeholders set carbon emissions goals and design targets
  • Reveals the most effective levers that you can use to meet the Architecture 2030 Challenge, earn credits in green building rating systems, and achieve other goals
  • Compliments a financial model (based on life cycle cost analysis) to provide the most comprehensive support for building design decisions.

Try out Green Footstep or learn more about its capabilities at http://www.greenfootstep.org/

(Portions of this post excerpted from a November 11, 2009 ACRL Science and Technology Discussion List posting by Frederick Stoss.)

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