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The aim of the low carbon building project by Carbon Costed Designs Ltd is to explore a “carbon driven” approach to building, by quantifying the emissions associated with each phase of the construction process so that embodied carbon is considered more easily within the decision-making processes of builders, suppliers, clients, policy makers and other stakeholders.

This project will quantify the carbon emissions associated with a new build passivhaus project, CCD are undertaking. It will use embodied carbon (EC) as a metric in the decision-making process. At each stage of the build, EC will be considered alongside cost, regulations, performance and availability of materials in an effort, to reduce the associated emissions. The project will act as a time-and-motion study, or lean analysis of the work, providing a wealth of data from which to further reduce EC. To assist with the project a Steering group will be established to steer the project.

The main objectives are to determine the ease and feasibility of providing accurate, local, carbon foot-printing for small construction projects in Ceredigion, detailing regionally sourced materials and to quantify the emissions resulting from CCD projects and to identify areas for improvement, further improving environmental approaches. As well as also quantifying the environmental benefits of specifying locally sourced materials (wood, aggregate, slate) over the more generic alternatives provided by the larger builder’s merchants. Developing a “snap-shot” of the emissions landscape for building materials available to the Aberystwyth area, and increase understanding of the importance of embodied carbon amongst builders, suppliers and other industry stakeholders by highlighting emission hotspots and strategies to minimise these for example by quantifying the benefits or otherwise of using locally sourced materials.

Much of the EC data currently available is generalised and not specific to a Ceredigion (or even Wales). In clarifying the emissions landscape, this study will look at a number, of local material manufacturers and compare the carbon footprint of their product to the generic often non-local alternative.

A crucial part of the project is to ensure the new practices from the findings are adopted long term by workers within the trade in their day to day work. The project will directly engage with builders and other professionals in the trade throughout the delivery period to explain the research work being undertaken and encouraging them to think about the way they work and how this could be influenced in the future by the findings.


This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.