Embodied energy and carbon - The ICE database
Embodied energy is the amount of energy consumed to extract, refine, process, transport and fabricate a material or product (including buildings). It is often measured from cradle to (factory) gate, cradle to site (of use), or cradle to grave (end of life). Likewise, embodied carbon footprint is the amount of carbon (CO2 or CO2e emission) to produce a material.
Embodied energy and carbon is a topic of rising importance. In fact, it is normally possible to reduce the embodied energy and carbon of a building or construction project by 10-20% without adding to the build cost. What's more embodied carbon is often 20-50%, or so, of the whole life energy and carbon of a building, i.e. when operational carbon emissions are considered.
So if you're not looking at the embodied energy and carbon of your project then you are missing out on a valuable opportunity. This is where the Inventory of Carbon & Energy database can help. The ICE database is the world's leading source of embodied energy and carbon data and is available for free from this page (fill in the form right, or at the bottom of this page).
Embodied energy and carbon - A journey
The measurement of embodied energy and carbon for a building material or a construction project starts at 'The Cradle', which is the earth.
This journey is shown visually in the presentation slides below:
About the ICE embodied energy and carbon database
The Inventory of Carbon and Energy (also know as the ICE database) is a leading embodied energy and carbon database for building materials which is available for free on this page. Our founder, Dr Craig Jones, created the ICE database in his former role as a researcher at the University of Bath whilst working for Professor Geoff Hammond.
In total the ICE database has been downloaded by over 17,000 professionals from around the world and it appears in countless reports, journals, books, lectures, embodied energy and carbon footprint calculators, and more.
It contains data for over 200 materials, broken down into over 30 main material categories, such as:
The embodied energy data provides the energy consumed to make a building material. This then gives rise to embodied carbon emissions, which contribute to global warming and climate change.
Creating an embodied energy database
The ICE database was created from a large review of the literature. The first version was released in 2005 and it has been updated at periodic intervals. The diagram below shows how the database was created.
Embodied energy and carbon life cycle of a building
The embodied energy and carbon life cycle of a building can be expressed on a single diagram, as below.
For further information on embodied energy and carbon of materials please download the ICE database below.
Download your free embodied energy and carbon database - over 17,000 users
You will be emailed the ICE database so please check your email address carefully.
Embodied energy and carbon database - 17,000 downloads