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February, 2023

Sustainability in the Building Sector


The Spaceworks Carbon Calculator solves a big problem preventing carbon reduction in the industry – lack of data.

The building industry is arguably one of the most resource-intensive sectors, however there is currently a lack of data around the carbon emissions generated by the industry, preventing efforts in carbon reduction.

These emissions occur at every stage of the project – “building material production consumes energy, the construction phase consumes energy, and operating a completed building consumes energy for heating, lighting, power and ventilation” (source).

That’s why, with the help of Toitū Envirocare we developed the Spaceworks Carbon Calculator.

Giving the industry data enables companies to make choices that can reduce the carbon impact of a build or renovation over its full lifecycle.

The carbon calculator follows a three-step process:

1. Understanding the initial design embodied carbon footprint
2. Going through a design reduction phase
3. Bringing the carbon to zero via offset as an additional option.

We’ve tested the calculator on three office fitout projects, ranging from 250 sqm to 1500 sqm.

Testing gave a reading of between 50 and 65 kg of carbon dioxide per sqm. That means a 250 sqm fitout is producing between 11.25 and 15 tonnes of embodied carbon.

To put that into perspective, a 700 sqm fitout produces 49 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of 13 flights from Auckland to London or 14 years of driving the average car.

To learn more about the calculator, check out these posts on Thinking Space:

Spaceworks Carbon Calculator – The Process 

Spaceworks Carbon Calculator – NBR 

Spaceworks Carbon Calculator – Launch Event

Contact us to discuss how the Spaceworks Carbon Calculator can help with your project