Initiative to measure pollution during property construction
Initiative to measure pollution during property construction

Initiative to measure pollution during property construction

The method of carbon calculation of the buildings during construction will be included in the RICS standards
Valia Politi

With 40% of global carbon emissions coming from new buildings and infrastructure each year, the International Cost Management Standard Coalition (ICMS Coalition) has published the first global standard aiming to calculate carbon dioxide emissions during construction and during their life cycle - also known as "embodied and operational carbon"

The International Cost Management Standard - or ICMS3 (International Cost Management Standard) - is a methodology by which manufacturers and engineers can calculate the amount of embodied carbon their projects will generate, whether it be new roads, schools, offices, housing or infrastructure.

The creation of ICMS3 is an initial move for the construction sector, in order to align the industry with the net-zero goal.

The new easy-to-use method that will allow accurate emission calculations to be generated, is expected to have a direct impact on the industry, as it will force manufacturers to adapt their proposals (either by choosing more sustainable materials or by adopting specific construction practices) in order to reduce their impact on the environment and climate change.

The ICMS3 methodology is expected to be incorporated into the RICS standards, with a recommendation to be applied by all members active in the construction sector.

Alan Muse, Head of Construction Standards at RICS and ICMS lead, said: “De-carbonisation of construction is now essential to meet the goals of COP26. Critically, to achieve this, we need globally standardized reporting systems – unless we measure it, we cannot manage it."

Justin Sullivan, Chair of the ICMS Coalition and Construction Industry Council, added: “The ICMS journey has been a beacon of how collaboration works. We have 49 international public benefit bodies that have together created world-class standards in the construction and infrastructure sectors".

Although we have a long way to go till the mandatory implementation of a single, global carbon reporting system in the construction sector, initiatives such as ICMS3 are an extremely encouraging example of future field cooperation, on an international level.