Carbon Design Bottlenecks: An Empirical Taxonomy Of The Challenges Integrating Carbon Data In The Architecture Practice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


With the growing demand for sustainable accountability, the European Directive 2014/24/EU (EU 2014) pushes architects to deliver Building Information Models (BIM) as a part of procurement processes for public buildings. In the Netherlands, BIM model data is relevant to the building permitting process, which involves an environmental performance calculation (MPG). This assessment takes into consideration the embodied carbon of materials in a building. Although this analysis is performed by a qualified expert in late design phases, architects benefit from integrating carbon data in early design decision-making. Design methods supported by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) values are needed before involving expert collaborators, and not only when applying for a building permit. The existing carbon assessment tools require detailed data from BIM models, which are often not available at early design phases. Simplified tools have been discussed in theory, and explored in their potential applications, however, there lacks scientific literature discussing the hurdles designers face in their attempt to create such tools in practice, for their internal use throughout early design phases. This paper focuses on the architecture professional practice and design methods supported by digital and computational technologies, regarding embodied carbon data. It investigates the challenges in integrating embodied carbon data in the design workflow, through the development of a digital tool made by designers, for designers. This paper conducts an empirical investigation within a Rotterdam-based architecture office, with a broad portfolio in BIM usage and public building projects, to identify and categorize the factors affecting carbon data integration into the design workflows. It proposes a taxonomy of challenges within the architecture office, to better communicate the designer's needs to the data providers and software developers with architects as a target user. Amongst the bottlenecks encountered are: access to data (data inclusiveness), data literacy and connecting data usage with design decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2024 ACSA 112th Annual Meeting
Subtitle of host publicationAbstract Book
Place of PublicationVancouver, BC
PublisherACSA Press
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event2024 ACSA 112th Annual Meeting: Disrupters on the Edge - Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 14 Mar 202416 Mar 2024


Conference2024 ACSA 112th Annual Meeting
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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