Embodied energy and embodied carbon footprint - The ICE database
Embodied energy is the amount of energy consumed to extract, refine, process, transport and fabricate a material. It is often measured from cradle to (factory) gate, or cradle to site (of use). Likewise, embodied carbon footprint is the amount of carbon (CO2 or CO2e emission) to produce a material.
The Inventory of Carbon and Energy (also know as the ICE database) is a free database for building materials. 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.
A free embodied energy and carbon footprint database
The ICE database contains data for over 200 materials, broken down into over 30 main material categories (such as cement, concrete, glass, timber, plastics, steel...etc). The embodied energy data provides the energy consumed to make a building material. This then gives rise to embodied carbon emissions (also know as CO2 emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide emissions, carbon footprint or CO2e emissions), which contribute to global warming and climate change.
The ICE database was last updated in 2011 but we believe that the data is still robust and reliable. We are investigating how it can be updated in the future, with the aim to keep it free and entirely independent. The ICE database remains a University of Bath resource, see http://www.bath.ac.uk/mech-eng/research/sert/, but the download file is now hosted by Circular Ecology.
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.The ICE database is available as a a hard copy book version available from BSRIA, or as a free download, in excel format, by subscribing to the Circular Ecology mailing list (fill in the form below). You will be emailed the ICE database so please double check your email address.
What's the difference between embodied carbon and a carbon footprint?
Embodied carbon is similar to a carbon footprint. In simple terms embodied carbon is the carbon footprint of a material. A product is of course made from materials and therefore embodied carbon also applies to products. We have written an article on the difference between embodied carbon and a carbon footprint.
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