Scope and Boundaries

Step one in an Upfront Carbon assessment is setting Scope and Boundaries. These terms refer to the range of processes and life cycle stages included in calculating carbon emissions.

In the example below, 'System Boundaries' are refined to 'Product (A1-A3)' and 'Construction (A4-A5)' stages only by deleting the 'In-Use (B4)' and 'End-of-Use (C2)' stages from the simulation. Next, the 'Practical Completion' date and 'Operational Period' are set to define the length of the simulation period.

System Boundary

The term System Boundary refers to the life cycle stages of a building that are included in the assessment. For Upfront Carbon, this includes:

Product stage (A1-A3): Includes all processes up to the point the product is ready for delivery, including raw material extraction, transportation, and manufacturing.

Construction process stage (A4-A5): includes transportation to the building site and the construction process.

System Boundary (Optional)

Additional System Boundaries are also available for the following:

In-Use stage (B4): Includes the replacement of building components during a building's life, including the production, transportation, and installation of new components, as well as disposal of old ones.

End-of-Use stage (C2): Includes transporting deconstructed building materials to a waste processing facility.

Practical Completion

Practical Completion refers to the point at which a building's construction is complete and the building can serve its intended purpose. By this point, most upfront carbon emissions, originating from material production and construction, have been locked in. Thus, strategies to minimise a building's upfront carbon must be executed before this stage.

Operational Period

The Operational Period of a building's Upfront Carbon simulation is the phase when the building is in use. This is only used if System Boundaries other than A1 - A5 are nominated.

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