View our Carbon Designer webinar here.
What does this feature do?
The Carbon Designer tool allows very quick baseline building creation with minimal knowledge about the project and allows optioneering choices and their impacts easily. The Carbon Designer tool will enable you to quickly calculate an LCA just by building shape and size for a baseline or calculation purposes. Additionally, you can rapidly make variants by changing between pre-defined building structures or relevant material choices.
As only very limited background information is needed to start, the tool can be used already in early design stages and target setting but it can also support detailed options and creation. The modelled building can also be saved to any of our LCA calculation tools.
Note: To improve the video quality once the video has begun, you should open 'Settings' (gear icon), then select 'Quality', and choose the highest available resolution.
How do you use this feature?
If you have Carbon Designer on your license, it will be available in almost every project. Some tools are not supported yet, such as the Dutch MPG tool and the DGNB. If Carbon Designer is available, you will find it by clicking on 'Input data' and selecting 'Carbon Designer: Create Baseline'.
Step 1: Select the Carbon Designer by opening a project
After opening a project, navigate to the 'input data' section and selecting 'Carbon Designer: Create baseline'.
Step 1: After clicking 'input data'. select 'Carbon Designer: Create baseline
Step 2: Project parameters
After you have opened Carbon Designer make sure to fill in the project parameters. First select which building parameters you want to include, select the type of reference building, the building type, the GFA and the number of above-ground floors. Under the 'More Options' section, you can also choose the number of underground floors (e.g. for parking), decide to use earthquake zone structures and already specify the required foundation type and depth.
When selecting the type of reference building, make sure to select the right type.
Select the relevant type of reference building
Step 2: Fill in the project parameters
When using Carbon Designer to create a Finnish reference building, including 'Default values' to the building parameters will also add default building technology resources according to Finnish calculation method (Ympäristöministeriön menetelmä) to the model.
Step 3: Modify building dimensions if needed
After this, you select 'Calculate areas'. This will populate the building structure. You can edit the building dimensions and building structures if needed. If the results look acceptable you can continue and press 'create baseline'.
Step 3: Modify the building dimensions if needed
Building dimension inputs:
Height: The total height of the building. To adjust the height of the building, you should change the internal floor height instead of modifying this value.
Width: The length of the longer side of the building. Modifying the value adjusts automatically also the depth of the building according to the building area.
Depth: The length of the shorter side of the building. Modifying this value also adjusts the width.
Internal floor height: The height of the floor from flooring to ceiling. The total height of the building is adjusted according to this value.
Column spacing distance: The column spacing distance is the distance between columns on the building. Columns are Load bearing axes are spaced at the column spacing distance and each load-bearing axis will, in turn, have one column between said distances. Columns are organised in as load bearing axes in the direction of the shorter side of the building. Columns in both axes are spaced using the maximum column spacing distance. 'Width' and 'Depth' are divided with this distance and rounded. Then 1 more row of columns is added to take into consideration that the grid starts from the side of the building and that the maximum spacing distance is not violated. This forms a grid of columns covering the building area. This value only affects building types with columns modeled. If building type does not include columns, they are not listed on building structure measurements.
Load bearing internal walls: The percentage of internal walls inside the building that are load-bearing. Rest of the walls are modeled as light internal walls.
The number of staircases: Number of staircases in the building. The height of the staircases is adjusted according to building height.
The total number of floors: The total number of above and underground floors.
Shape efficiency factor: The value adjusts the factor between lengths of the walls for the longer side of the building. The measurements are calculated according to the fixed 1.1 ratio. Adjusting the factor also increases the area of internal walls, so it is not recommended to change the factor without manually adjusting the area of internal walls.
Gross internal floor area (GIFA): The calculated area of the building, measured from the inside surface of the exterior walls.
Step 4: Adjust building elements
You have now created your first baseline. You will get an indicator of the amount of CO2e already and are able to make a few changes. You can apply a scenario to quickly change the entire structure of the building to e.g. wood, steel or concrete. Another option would be to do this separately for all building elements, such as changing the floor slab to a concrete slab assembly with bubble deck.
Step 4: Change the type of constructions used
Step 5: Changing material choices in the components
If you want to be even more specific you could decide to change the type of concrete and reinforcement steel which is used in the building element components. In the screenshot below we can see that the hollow core concrete slab can be changed to use a higher percentage of recycled binders in cement.
Step 5: Change material choices in the constructions
Step 6: Reflect on made changes
Any of the changes you make, from changing a building element to use steel instead of concrete, to changing a particular section to use a different type of steel or concrete, are reflected immediately. These changes are visible right away. The blue chart will be the baseline which was initially created based upon your first settings. The green, grey or red charts are the results after the made changes.
Step 6: Reflect on changes made
Step 7: Restarting or the Carbon Designer design
The final step is to either set your new choices as the baseline, by clicking 'Set as Baseline' and make even more changes or to save the design to the building material query. Saving the design will take you out of the Carbon Designer and into the building material query, where you can look at the results of your baseline right away. You can also click on 'Restart Design' if you want to go back to the initial setup so you can re-define the building parameters.
Step 7: Save design to query
Is this feature available to me?
The feature is available for Northern European, UK and North American markets. The tool also enables creating NS 3720 reference buildings. If you are interested in purchasing the Carbon Designer please contact our Business Development Team.