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RP2007: Integrated Carbon Metrics – A Multi-Scale Life Cycle Approach to Assessing, Mapping and Tracking Carbon Outcomes for the Built Environment

Project leader name: 
Associate Professor Tommy Wiedmann
Project status: 
Project period: 
05/2014 to 05/2018

The Integrated Carbon Metrics project quantifies the carbon emissions for the various processes in our urban environment. This includes both the direct as well as the indirect or 'hidden' carbon emissions ranging from the production of building materials to the design and construction of whole precincts. The project develops metrics and decision support tools for building designers, manufacturers, planners and developers. It aims to identify potential research opportunities to provide the best return on investment.

A comprehensive database of embodied carbon life cycle inventory data for building products and materials is the fundamental component of the project. The main objective of this part is to create a method that harmonises the life cycle data from different scales and sources by combining top-down and bottom-up approaches.

The database will be used in the 'ICM tool', which will be able to track carbon along the production and supply chains of materials and products, show the carbon outputs of industrial sectors at great detail as well as map carbon flows spatially across Australia.

The carbon emissions data will also be used in a 3D Precinct Information Modelling (PIM) tool. This will enable the calculation and visualisation of carbon emissions for specific precinct development and retrofitting projects during their planning stage.

In order to test and validate the data and calculation methods, case study scenarios of urban precincts will be prepared for modelling with PIM tools. Scenarios depend on a number of factors including cohorts of buildings, urban morphologies, demolition rate, turnover of building stock, extent of retrofitting and time span of analysis. Options for low-carbon precincts will be evaluated.

Details of the next phase of this research project are here.

Contact: Soo Huey Teh

People active in this project

UNSW Australia
University of Melbourne
University of South Australia
  • Tommy Wiedmann
  • Stephen Moore
  • Hazel Rowley
  • Soo Huey Teh
  • Sven Lundie
  • Robert Crawford
  • Tuan Duc Ngo
  • Steven Pullen
  • Ke Xing
  • Bin Huang
AECOM Australia Pty Ltd
Aurecon Australia Pty Ltd
BlueScope Steel Corporation
Sydney Water Limited  
  • Lester Partridge
  • Jeffrey Robinson
  • Nicole Sullivan

  • Philip Woods 

Publications related to this project

Peer Reviewed Research Publications
This paper looks at the need that exists to further develop an approach to concurrently balance both economic and environmental performance of buildings to create a more sustainable built environment.
CRCLCL Project Reports

In order to ensure that the Integrated Carbon Metrics project meets industry and user needs a scoping study was conducted within Australia with construction industry professionals.  Results are outlined in this document.

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

The main objective of this study is to harmonise different data and methods such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Input Output Analysis (IOA) and Material Flow Analysis (MFA) to accurately calculate the embodied carbon emissions of construction materials in Australia. Read the paper...

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

This technical note presents a method to decompose life cycle inventories derived from integrated and mixed-unit hybrid life cycle assessment.

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

This study looks at a mixed-unit hybrid life cycle assessment approach, based on a combination of process life cycle inventory, input–output, and material flow data, to model the economy-wide potential use of recycled construction materials in Australia.

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

This PhD study describes the development of a comprehensive environmental and economic framework for integrated building evaluation and demonstrates its potential by applying it to built environment examples.

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

This paper demonstrates the framework's potential by applying it to glazing design options for a residential building case study. 


Peer Reviewed Research Publications

This paper published in Energy and Buildings presents a model for the integrated assessment of precinct carbon performance which takes into account carbon offsetting as well as interplays among precinct objects, precinct morphology, and resident life-styles.

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

By comparing residential and non-residential building stock scenarios using an IO-based hybrid LCA scenario method, this study gains insight into potential emissions reductions opportunities. The best-case emissions scenario would require all new building stock (both residential and non-...

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

This study published in Science Direct highlights the importance of considering a buildings’ expected performance, whether it be environmental or financial, based on its entire life cycle.

Peer Reviewed Research Publications
This paper published in the Journal of Cleaner Production presents an approach for the evaluation of energy performance of urban precincts and includes the interactions among precinct objects, natural environment and occupant behaviours. The research has provided a model, supported by a case study...
CRCLCL Project Posters
CRCLCL Project Posters
Fact sheet

We are developing a suite of carbon accounting tools that provide a complete picture of the carbon lifecycle, at the building, precinct and city level. 

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

Teh, S. H., Wiedmann, T., Castel, A.,  de Burgh, J., Hybrid life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from cement, concrete and geopolymer concrete in Australia. Journal of Cleaner Production.

CRCLCL Project Posters
Student poster - Participants Annual Forum 2016 - Soo Huey Teh Replacement scenarios for construction materials based on economy-wide hybrid LCA
CRCLCL Project Posters
Student poster - Participants Annual Forum 2016 - Guangwu Chen Integrated carbon metrics - The carbon footprint of cities
CRCLCL Project Posters
Student poster - Participants Annual Forum 2016 - Monique Fouche The integrated optimisation of life cycle energy, GHG and cost in buildings
Peer Reviewed Research Publications

Fouché, M. and Crawford, R.H. (2015) The Australian construction industry’s approach to embodied carbon assessment: a scoping study, Living and Learning: Research for a Better Built Environment, 49th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association, edited by Crawford, R.H. and...

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

Chen, G., Hadjikakou, M. and Wiedmann, T. (2016) Urban carbon transformations: unravelling spatial and inter-sectoral linkages for key city industries based on multi-region input-output analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production. Published online 20 April 2016

CRCLCL Project Posters

Monique Fouché, IELab conference poster: ICM Scoping Study Results (11-12 June 2015, Sydney)

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

Huang, B., Xing, K. and Pullen S. (2015) Energy and carbon performance evaluation for buildings and urban precincts: review and a new modelling concept. Journal of Cleaner Production (published online 23 December 2015). 

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

Wiedmann, T. O., Chen, G. and Barrett, J. (2015) The Concept of City Carbon Maps: A Case Study of Melbourne, Australia. Journal of Industrial Ecology, (published online 12 October 2015). 

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

Teh, S. H., Wiedmann, T., Schinabeck, J., Rowley, H. and Moore, S. (2015) Integrated Carbon Metrics and Assessment for the Built Environment. Procedia CIRP, 29, 480-485. 

CRCLCL Project Posters

Student poster - Participants Annual Forum 2015 - Sebastian Davies-Slate

A zero carbon PPP light rail to Greater Curtin

CRCLCL Project Posters

Student poster - Participants Annual Forum 2015 - Monique Fouche

The balance between greenhouse gas emissions and cost: A life cycle approach towards GHG reduction and financial performance in buildings

CRCLCL Project Reports

This report provides a summary of the scoping study and workshop outcomes for the Integrated Carbon Metrics (ICM) project, which were undertaken to ensure the project...

CRCLCL Project Posters

Research Snapshot A3 size poster from Participants Annual Forum 2014

CRCLCL Project Posters

Student Poster - Participants Annual Forum 2014, Soo Huey Teh - Soze A2