Turning Data into Decisions to Save the World

Turning Data into Decisions to Save the World

New kinds of automation make it easier to get the insights that drive sustainable design


According to the European Commission, 80% of the environmental impact of a product or a building is determined in early-phase design. Whether you’re considering embodied carbon, landfill waste, toxic chemical exposure, or greenhouse gas emissions, the decisions that designers make about the materials and the processes they’ll use have a tremendous impact on the final footprint. Ben Thompson, director of sustainability at Autodesk, shares how new digital tools can help you automate the previously onerous task of analyzing that impact in advance. The Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3), created by Skanska, is one example. It enables architects and stakeholders to make informed decisions by quickly assessing the embodied carbon of a BIM model and comparing different outcomes by changing materials and quantities. And generative design tools can take this one step further, automating the process of comparison.

About the speaker

Ben Thompson is the director for sustainable business and head of employee impact at Autodesk. He develops partnerships and programs that scale positive impact and drive value with customers. He is a LEED Green Associate with experience in building operations and urban planning.

Related learning

Learn more about sustainable design with these AU resources.

Using Revit and Dynamo to Assess Embodied Carbon

Kayleigh Houde shows you how to pull components from BIM models, compare them to Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) data sets, and bring that information back into Revit to visualize the overall embodied carbon impact of your design and make better decisions for sustainability.

Eliminating Construction Waste as a Pathway to Project Success

An estimated 30% of procured construction materials end up in the landfill, an enormous waste of money and resources, and a significant contributor to a building’s embodied carbon footprint as well. John Wiegand, Uchenna Okoye, and Michael Floyd show you how to reduce waste using digital workflows.

BIM for Sustainability—7D

Discover how BIM tools can help you design more sustainable buildings and drive business growth with Luc Wing and Eve Lin.

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