For a better CO2 balance


Klara Meier, Energy and Sustainability Expert, ATP sustain in Munich


Ursula Reiner, Architect, BIM Manager and Sustainability Manager, ATP Vienna

15.11.2022, Reading time: 2 minute(s)

ATP has developed a tool that can calculate gray CO2 emissions at a very early stage.

The construction sector is responsible for around 35 % of CO2 emissions in Germany. This figure is far too high! Hence, a key objective for a climate-neutral future must be a drastic reduction in this share of CO2 emissions. Alongside the optimization of red CO2 emissions, we must also focus on gray CO2 emissions. But which concrete “levers” do we planners have at our disposal? And how do different materials impact upon the CO2 footprint of a building?

Our solution
The “CO2 Building Tool” developed by ATP is a digital design tool that enables users to evaluate the emissions values of a range of constructional variants during the early design phases of a building (competition/preliminary design). This process is based on the main elements modeled in Revit.

The ATP CO2 Tool enables landmark decisions to be taken during the earliest design phases.

As soon as the Revit parameters are entered at the component level it is simple to make a detailed investigation of the impact of a range of constructional variants on the ecological footprint of a building.

Testing the CO2 Tool
On the basis of an office building with a standard grid we analyzed the following variants:
• A reinforced concrete structure or composite timber slabs with laminated timber beams
• A façade of composite aluminum panels or a purely aluminum façade

Even before making any calculations, one can assume that a composite timber structure is responsible for fewer CO2 emissions than a reinforced concrete structure. However, the tool enables one to go further and produce detailed figures for these different structural approaches. It also makes it easier to offer detailed advice regarding the CO2 intensity of different variants as well as, ideally, providing confirmation that the ecologically more sustainable variant is also more economical across the entire lifecycle.

The innovative planning tool received the Green BIM Award 2022. This award, which is presented by the jury under the patronage of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), honors exemplary projects, tools, and methods that provide the digital building industry with solutions for better climate protection.

As we develop all our buildings from day one in virtual models and via an interdisciplinary process, we can make perfect use of our CO2 tool to determine the most resource-friendly, energy-efficient, and low-CO2 variant of a building. This award reinforces our commitment.

Tobias Hutter (ATP sustain), ATP architect Ursula Reiner, and ATP Executive Board Member Professor Thilo Ebert accept the Green BIM Award 2022 for the CO2 Tool. © BIM-Tage Deutschland
Tobias Hutter (ATP sustain), ATP architect Ursula Reiner, and ATP Executive Board Member Professor Thilo Ebert accept the Green BIM Award 2022 for the CO2 Tool. © BIM-Tage Deutschland

Ursula Reiner studied at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and has been working for ATP architects engineers for ten years. The architect is a BIM Manager/Auditor, Associate Partner of ATP Vienna, and passionate about the issue of sustainability.

Klara Meier is an energy and sustainability expert at ATP sustain in Munich, ATP’s in-house research company for building physics and sustainability. The DGNB Advisor also represents ATP sustain in its cooperation with the CRAVEZERO and DESIGN2ECO research projects.

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