The Office of Government Procurement has published new Cost Control and Carbon reporting templates, available through the Capital Works Management Framework website. These templates are mandatory to use on all new capital works projects (commencing stage 1) since the 1st of January 2024. A notable inclusion within these updated templates is the option for reporting on embodied carbon during construction. While at this stage, the reporting on embodied carbon is a voluntary process, the inclusion of this template echoes the growing emphasis on carbon reporting in the industry and aligns with the coming change to regulations which would see carbon reporting become mandatory, currently estimated to come into effect in 2027.
The built environment in Ireland is responsible for approximately 36% of the annual greenhouse gas emissions in a year, making it a critical sector to address when examining regulations aimed at achieving the current carbon reduction targets. At present 23% of the GHG emissions are associated with the operation of the built environment, however, with the introduction of Nearly Zero-Emission Building (NZEB) regulations, increased insulation, and improved retrofitting techniques this figure is set to decrease. More attention has now come to rest on the 13% that is coming from embodied carbon. Embodied carbon refers to the emissions associated with producing a building’s materials (including harvesting raw materials, mining operations, processing, etc.), transporting them to the site, installing and incorporating them into the building, maintaining, replacing and finally disposing of them at the end of their life.
Public bodies have already begun to place importance on embodied carbon when making funding decisions for projects and in procuring design teams and contractors. This emphasis is expected to increase as the focus on embodied carbon intensifies. A critical component to the success of the efforts to reduce the embodied carbon of our built environment will be the production of reliable and high-quality data. While utilising the carbon reporting sections of the new templates is not yet mandatory, at MKO we feel that early adoption and collation of this data will make the transition easier on the client and design team and allow for a gentler learning curve. The Cost and Carbon Templates are available through the Capital Works Management Framework website. There are nine workbooks covering nine different project types provided. Further guidance on how to use each of the templates is also available through the Construction Procurement website.
If you would like further information on the carbon reporting opportunities or wish to ensure you are ready for the pending regulations on carbon reporting for public works projects, our Project Management team would be happy to assist you.