RICS Whole life carbon assessment for the built environment

  • Issue Date: November 2017
  • Publication: RICS

Sturgis Carbon Profiling has lead a team co-funded by InnovateUK and supported by the UKGBC to compile practical guidelines for conducting whole life carbon assessment in built projects.

The guidance produced has been consolidated into an RICS Professional Statement that is aimed to facilitate practitioners across the board to carry out assessments for construction projects.


The implementation of the whole life carbon assessment principles outlined in the respective standards has been erratic in practice resulting in significant discrepancies in the carbon outcomes for similar projects and preventing comparability between peers. This professional statement has been produced in response to the widely recognized need to harmonize carbon measurement in the built environment.


A multi-disciplinary consortium consisting expert practitioners and academics as well as representatives from the contractor client side (Sturgis Carbon Profiling: also project management, Sustainable Business Partnership, Faithful + Gould, ARUP, Cambridge University, RICS, Laing O’Rourke and Land Securities) has been brought together to compile a practical implementation plan for whole carbon assessment. The team initially reviewed the work on the field so far and the consultants have then undertaken 5 case study assessments each. These were comparatively analyzed by Cambridge University to identify discrepancies. The points of contention have then been collectively addressed and detailed guidelines compiled to steer the whole life carbon assessment process. The report has also undergone review by a number of external industry experts.


The professional statement follows the EN 15978 methodology and covers the aspects influencing the carbon impacts providing technical details on how to perform carbon calculations and how to organize the results in a transparent yet flexible fashion. It comprises mandatory requirements as well as comprehensive practical guidance to enable consistency in the carbon outputs over the entire life cycle of projects.

You can read the report here.

Hear members of the team talk about the technical document at the launch event on 03/05/2017.

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