Accurate carbon comparisons for a range of foundation techniques are said to be the main benefits of a new carbon calculator that has been designed to also compare designs internationally.
The European Federation of Foundation Contractors (EFFC) and Deep Foundation Institute (DFI) jointly worked with carbon specialist Corbone4 to develop the new system that is aimed to allow clients to compare designs developed by different contractors offering different techniques.
Work on the calculator, which started in March 2012, has been led by a steering group formed from DFI and EFFC members, and chaired by Soletanche Freyssinet sustainability director Marine Lasne.
The EFFC has said that the calculator will allow foundation contractors to evaluate the carbon footprint of their designs, provide clients with verifiable and standardised data about the carbon footprint of their foundations and enable clients to compare the carbon footprint of one proposal against another.
The standardised carbon emissions database will eventually cover all foundation and ground engineering techniques, and currently includes bored piles, displacement piles, micropiles, diaphragm and slurry walls, sheet pile walls, grouting and soil mixing.
“The way the industry has collaborated through the EFFC and DFI to provide data and fund the project is a real achievement,” says Lasne. “Several European companies had already developed their own calculator and agreed to share their knowledge to reach the best possible common denominator for all.
“The calculator will have a significant impact on the ability to demonstrate and compare the sustainability of different foundation techniques but success will come from widespread use of the system and we must ensure that it becomes known and accepted by clients - so use and promotion of the calculator by everyone in the industry is vital.”
The calculator is free to download, but users are required to register to use the site at www.geotechnicalcarboncalculator.com . The site includes full information on the principles and methodology used in the calculator, as well as a detailed user guide.