Embodied Carbon: Developing a Client Brief – UK GBC

With the increasingly successful reduction of operational energy (and thus carbon emissions)
in the built environment, the industry’s next challenge is to reduce the carbon intensity of the
structures themselves (embodied carbon). We know that clients will play a critical role in this
work as what clients ask for, the supply chain works to deliver. UK-GBC also understands that
embodied carbon is an area that many clients are just beginning to address.
This guide is designed for those who need to write effective briefs for commissioning their
first embodied carbon measurements, but who may be at an early stage of embodied carbon
knowledge. It is not a how-to guide for measuring carbon, or which method or tools should
be adopted.
This guide been written by the industry, for the industry. The guidance provides
straightforward information on how to develop a brief and ‘get the job done’. For those
looking for greater depth of knowledge, there is Supporting Guidance with links to further
detailed information.
UK-GBC EC Developing Client Brief has been led by a team at the UK-GBC,
supported by a specialist working group. At key points in the development process the guide
has gone to wider UK-GBC member review (primarily with clients). UK-GBC would like to
thank all those who have contributed to this new guide.

“UK-GBC’s vision is of a built environment that is fully decarbonised. This has to include both
embodied and operational carbon. As operational carbon reduces, the relative significance
of embodied carbon increases. So we will continue to advocate for embodied carbon to
become a mainstream issue in building design, construction and maintenance. Indeed, we
will be encouraging our client members and other clients in the industry to create their own
embodied carbon briefs by making effective use of this guidance.
Also, through our work with cities and other local and national authorities, we will be
encouraging the assessment of embodied carbon within the public sector planning and
procurement process.”

Julie Hirigoyen
CEO, UK Green Building Council