About CostX & Carbon

CostX clients can use data from embodied carbon rate libraries such as EC3 to determine the embodied carbon of building components. This helps calculate the project’s total carbon output and determines the proportion that each component contributes to it, allowing quantity surveyors and estimators to be more involved in assessing the long-term energy implications of the project, the materials used, and other considerations.

How Can RIB CostX & Embodied Carbon Accounting Help Your Business?

CostX allows for both cost estimating and embodied carbon accounting in the same program, creating a world-leading 6D BIM solution that enables construction businesses to lead the way in sustainability.

Cover all bases

Estimate Embodied Carbon for A1-A5 (Production and Construction phases) and the entire Building Lifecycle (operation, maintenance & end of life phases).

Display the details

Present customized reports with carbon and cost, side by side, in a wide variety of formats and styles that can be tailored to your corporate standard.

Compare on carbon

Compare baseline estimated embodied carbon to actual as-built totals based on real supplier EPDs to show carbon reductions compared to the baseline.

Review the options

Estimate based on Conservative, Achievable or Average embodied carbon rates and generate reports from either, or all 3 side by side.

Ensure your accuracy

Support data from various sources including EC3 and other Excel-based carbon rates.

Learn More About RIB & EC3

Building Transparency is a non-profit organization that has developed a free and open-access technological tool targeted at reducing the impact of embodied carbon and making the AEC industry more efficient and sustainable.

Building Transparency’s premier technology solution is the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3). This tool houses a database of digital, third-party verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which can be used to perform sustainability benchmarking and assessments. Through the sponsorship of various entities, such as RIB Software, Building Transparency’s EC3 tool remains free to use.

CostX clients can use EC3 data to calculate the embodied carbon of building components by directly importing them into the program with the click of a button. This allows users to quickly and easily calculate the embodied carbon of multiple building components. This is just another way that RIB Software is continually assisting clients in becoming more efficient and sustainable.

Learn more about Building Transparency here: https://www.buildingtransparency.org/.

FAQs About Embodied Carbon Software

Embodied carbon is the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of a construction project before and after it becomes operational. It includes the emissions of the manufacturing and transportation of materials and the processes related to building, operating and demolishing the structure.

As the construction industry continues to grow and develop, the importance of tracking embodied carbon emissions will grow too. Companies, and especially regulators, are no longer blind to the environmental impact of new construction projects, and new strategies and methods are being implemented to mitigate it.

Embodied carbon software helps construction companies track the embodied carbon emissions of their projects. By using such solutions, companies can make an impact in the industry by reducing their emissions during the construction phase and throughout the building’s operational lifespan.

The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry (AEC) is one of the biggest polluters in the world, and research has revealed that approximately 38% of global energy consumption can be traced back to building and construction activities. With climate change concerns as a top global priority, construction companies cannot continue developing projects without considering sustainability. It all starts with carefully assessing their current impact using the right tools and technology.

Companies tracking their carbon emissions stand to benefit from the process in a number of ways:

  • Decreased environmental impact: Probably the most significant benefit companies can reap from tracking their CO2 emissions is helping the planet. Decarbonizing construction needs to be a joint effort where all companies play their part. Our carbon accounting software can be the best partner in your journey towards sustainability.
  • Competitive advantage: Believe it or not, customers in the construction industry are prioritizing providers who care about their environmental impact. Companies that track and mitigate their carbon emissions stand to gain a big competitive advantage.
  • Reduce costs: Saving costs while caring for the planet is possible. Greener energy sources can have lower operational expenses and energy consumption, which can lower project costs. Organizations need to test the impact of the different sources to understand which one is better for the project and the environment.
  • Compliance with regulations: Regulations regarding carbon emissions in the construction industry are becoming increasingly strict. Businesses that are not tracking their emissions can face unnecessary issues that could be avoided with the right CO2 calculator.
  • Drive innovation and change: Tracking emissions with professional embodied carbon tracking software can lead organizations in the building sector to adopt new technologies that can make their strategies more cost and time efficient. Plus, with the right tracking technology, decision-makers can set clear benchmarks and foster a culture of innovation and improvement in the organization.

RIB CostX mixes estimating and carbon tracking with the power of BIM takeoff technology to offer a complete solution to boost project efficiency and profitability. By analyzing data directly from a model, sustainability strategies can be linked to the entire 6D BIM project, from preconstruction planning to the handover stage.

Construction companies need to rely on the right technology to track their carbon emissions and find ways to reduce them. For instance, RIB CostX allows companies to test different design alternatives with various materials to see which has the least environmental impact. The same exercise can be done to test other elements that can increase carbon emissions.

Additionally, the in-built reporting allows users to track and analyze the impact of their strategies and test if they have been successful at mitigating their environmental impact. These reports also provide the necessary information to identify issues and adapt plans to ensure the expected results.

Even with sustainability becoming a massive global priority, a significant portion of the industry is still not tracking its CO2 emissions. As the recent RIB Sustainability Report showed, 74% of surveyed companies are not tracking the embodied carbon emissions of their projects, and only 6% are tracking it in most of their projects. The ones not tracking it cite a lack of knowledge about measurement techniques and cost and time concerns as reasons for their resistance to implementing it. The ones tracking it cite regulatory pressures and the desire to do their part in the environmental crises as the main drivers for adoption. Plus, 69% of respondents think tracking and reducing embodied carbon will become a fundamental aspect of construction projects in the next five years.

Considering these stats, it is clear that there has never been a better time for change. RIB CostX’s embodied carbon calculator gives companies in the building sector the necessary technology to monitor, analyze, and mitigate their projects’ environmental impact and take responsibility for their role in the current climate crisis. We are active sponsors of the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) by Building Transparency, which allows companies to import their building components into the program and calculate the environmental impact thanks to a database of verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). We have also recently partnered with 2050 Materials, giving our users access to an extensive carbon rate library to find and compare materials.


An EPD is a document that communicates a product’s environmental impact throughout its lifetime. In construction projects, EPDs are used as key documents to support carbon emissions reduction in material selection, helping companies choose the materials with the least environmental impact. EPDs are generated following regulatory standards like ISO 14040 and are usually valid for around five years.

The content of an EPD can vary from product to product and the methodology used to create it. However, in most cases, they offer summarized environmental information about the product, like production methods or other information about the manufacturer. Some companies use EPDs as a marketing tool to promote their sustainable practices when creating products.

RIB CostX users have access to the EC3 database of EPDs, which allows them to carefully select the materials they want to use for their projects.