Earth Day 2023: Carbon Assessments and Cost Estimation

Carbon Assessment and Cost Estimations

Earth Day 2023: Carbon Assessments and Cost Estimation

JLD Cost Consulting is committed to being an industry leader in environmentally informed construction cost estimation. On this Earth Day, we have the opportunity to reflect on our responsibility to the natural world and what needs to be accomplished in order to ensure a sustainable future for everyone.

We recognize that crafting an environmental policy or approach involves many factors, both for a specific construction project and for the industry as a whole. However, we cannot build sustainably without understanding how our projects affect manmade climate change. That is why JLD offers cost analysis and value engineering to our clients based on the assessed level of a project’s embodied carbon.

We reject the idea that environmental stewardship and effective cost control are mutually exclusive or innately conflicting goals within the scope of the same construction project. We know that many cost saving solutions can actually lower the carbon footprint of a project when applied thoughtfully. This is why we provide our clients with the appropriate data and analysis they need to make informed choices about balancing cost and climate impact.

It should be noted that there are challenges inherent in providing carbon informed cost analysis of this kind. It requires a lot of detailed work to identify the embodied carbon of even a single item. An estimator must trace a piece of a building material, such as a steel pipe, from the point of installation, through manufacture and transportation, all the way back to the initial extraction of the component ores from the ground, tallying the embodied carbon released at every stage. Fortunately, this work is being done, and the increasing availability of reliable environmental product declarations (EPDs) from manufacturers makes this process both more feasible and cost effective than it has ever been. Our team of estimators can incorporate this data into our analysis directly from an expanding set of databases, and from there assemble thorough reports for our clients, filling in gaps as needed, to provide a clear picture of the building options available and their associated carbon footprint.

We are currently partnering with several forward-thinking firms on climate friendly projects such as the Redmond Library in Bend, and the Gateway Center for Portland State University, which have incorporated the use of mass timber, a low carbon impact material, into their design. These buildings are exciting examples of the possibilities that recent advancements in green technology and manufacturing hold for our industry.

Knowledge alone will not solve the climate crisis. However, without it, even with the best of intentions, we will be able to do no more than guess what impact our building decisions will have on the environment. It is by arming ourselves with information, being clear-eyed about our choices, and working together on creative solutions, that we give ourselves the best chance for a brighter, more sustainable, future.

Still have questions? Get in touch with JLD Cost Consulting today for a consultation.