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Bentley Systems Integrates EC3 with iTwin: Enables Embodied Carbon Calculation to boost Sustainability


On November 7, 2022, Bentley Systems announced at the COP27 Conference that the Bentley iTwin platform, which drives their open-source iTwin infrastructure solutions, has expanded integrated workflows with EC3 for embodied carbon calculation to boost construction sustainability. 

The newly integrated Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) enables carbon assessment in infrastructure digital twin solutions. By integrating with EC3, Bentley’s infrastructure digital twin solutions and third-party applications developed on the Bentley iTwin platform can streamline and speed up the preparation of carbon reporting and insights based on the free, open-source EC3 carbon database and calculator. 

Bentley System aims to drive sustainability in construction and infrastructure by empowering the AEC industry with collaboration tools that enable users in unlocking decarbonization workflows. 

What is the EC3 calculator? 

The Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) is a free and simple tool that focuses on the forthright supply chain emissions of construction materials and allows performance analysis, assessment, reductions, and benchmarking in embodied carbon. 

Early in 2020, the non-profit group Building Transparency was founded to oversee and carry on the EC3 tool’s development. In order to ensure EC3’s industry-wide adoption, Building Transparency also offers training and resources.

Construction and the built environment are the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption in both developed and developing nations. Therefore, drastic adjustments are needed in the way that materials are produced, used, and saved on energy. It is vital to provide suggestions right away on the use of renewable resources, as well as the recycling and reuse of building materials.    

Compared to the 2% of global emissions that the entire aviation industry generates, embodied carbon accounts for 11% or more of current global emissions. 

If embodied carbon emissions are not reduced, there will be 2.5 trillion square feet of new buildings built globally by 2060, which will cause their emissions to soar. 

The EC3 tool was developed at the Carbon Leadership Forum with contributions from industry partners. EC3 makes use of a large database of digital, independently verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and building material quantities taken from construction estimates and BIM models. With the help of this information, the EC3 tool can be used to look at a project’s overall embodied carbon emissions during both the design and procurement phases of a construction project, allowing for the specification and purchase of low-carbon options. 

Microsoft was the first major corporation to use the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator. Microsoft is also piloting the EC3 tool (hosted in Microsoft Azure) on its 17-building redevelopment project at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, with a target of an embodied carbon reduction of 30%. 

According to Katie Ross, Microsoft’s global sustainability lead for real estate and facilities, “We are proud to be one of the early supporters of EC3 and, at the same time, strategic partners of Bentley Systems. 

“Watching the EC3 tool and the Bentley iTwin platform converge is a great example of how we aim to accelerate sustainability through collaboration and demonstrates the power of data democratization,” 

Building or Construction materials are one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions, and now is the time to address them. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of progressive and forward-thinking technology providers, the construction sector now has a method to gauge the effectiveness of those products quickly and precisely. 

Bentley Empowering Sustainable Construction – EC3 Integration with Bentley’s infrastructure Digital Twin Platform (iTwin) 

This latest addition to Bentley’s infrastructure digital twin platform is a perfect example of an approach to enabling users to realize sustainable development objectives. 

“We see the EC3 integration as a critical feature for the Bentley iTwin platform, further driving us toward the sustainability vision for the platform,” said Kaustubh Page, director of product management, iTwin platform for Bentley Systems. We are thrilled to see how our customers are using the Bentley iTwin platform’s Carbon Calculation Service to complete carbon workflows like reporting, project optioneering, and material optimization. To open up decarbonization workflows, we are happy to integrate a second lifecycle assessment tool. 

Building Transparency’s executive director, Stacy Smedley, also expressed excitement about the organization’s new inclusion in the Bentley iTwin platform ecosystem. The integration’s reliance on an open-source framework, which serves as the basis for both iTwin and EC3, is excellent. For AEC firms, ISVs, and digital integrators, this integrated workflow represents a sizable opportunity to link carbon analysis to infrastructure digital twins while maintaining total control over their data, applications, and intellectual property. 

As a result of Building Transparency’s open-source/open-access strategy, the integration with EC3 not only improves accuracy while saving time but also provides uncertainty forecasts of the EPD data and increases carbon transparency. Using the Bentley iTwin platform, users can combine engineering data produced by different design tools into a single view, produce a unified report of materials and quantities, and share it with various carbon analysis tools – now also with EC3 – via cloud synchronization. 

Chasing Sustainability in Construction 

In the long term, we see this partnership as a step towards sustainable infrastructure and digital twins, in which carbon calculation and optimization are inherent and transparent in all infrastructure life-cycle stages across the entire value chain. 

The EC3 tool also empowers owners, green building certification programs, and policymakers to evaluate supply chain data to establish embodied carbon limits and reductions at the scale of construction materials and projects, as well as to develop EPD requirements. 

Construction material suppliers and manufacturers are also being encouraged to invest in disclosure, transparency, and construction material developments that lower the carbon emissions of their products. 

Given that the AEC sector is one of the main drivers of climate change, sustainability has recently evolved from a trend to a need. With Bentley Systems stepping up to Sustainability  Architects, engineers, and manufacturers now have a practical opportunity to help create a better society.   

Follow Indovance Inc for AEC Industry Updates and Global Construction News.  

Indovance Inc  with its exclusive delivery hub in India is a global CAD technology partner serving the needs of the AEC industry since 2003. At INDOVANCE we focus on the unique need of each project or client and believe in addressing the real challenges and guarantee that the process will be well-coordinated, smooth, efficient, and hassle-free.  

We collaborate with our customers around the world to develop bespoke business solutions using our enormous engineering talent pool and state-of-the-art technology. To deliver long-term engineering and business strategies, we align with your culture and processes to create an unbreakable partnership. With over 500 full-time employees and more than 600 customers in the US, Europe, India, and Asia, we are poised for the next level of success.  

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For more queries regarding any of the above-mentioned topics, feel free to connect with us on our website www.indovance.com or contact us on +1-919-238-4044 

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