Carbon Footprint Calculation
The carbon footprint of RAS operations is one of the most pressing issues this industry faces. With the climate crises front and center now, every effort must be made to decarbonize our electricity sources and reduce the carbon from building construction. Raising fish in a RAS facility is at least twice as carbon intensive as Net Pen and also much more than pigs, sheep or goats.
Here we look at the full life cycle of RAS focusing on construction and operation. That said, we must note that ignoring the decommissoning phase is common and must change. When the full cost of building construction is required, many projects will not leave the conception phase.
Carbon footprint can be looked at in 2 pieces, embodied carbon and operational carbon. An easy way to think of this is embodied carbon is the amount of carbon that will end up in the atmosphere due to the building of the project. Basically, before the lights are turned on.
Operational carbon is the carbon used once the building is finished and ready for use.
BuildingGreen.Com “helps architects, designers and other sustainability professionals make their projects greener and healthier.” Their sole focus is “helping you design and build from a whole-systems perspective”.
Their article “The Urgency of Embodied Carbon and What You Can Do about It” provides a useful introduction into the importance of Embodied carbon and what is and can be done about it.
Most useful is the overview of the tools needed and the importance of whole-building life-cycle assessment (WBLCA).
For North American projects, RAS.Exposed recommends Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings. It is one of two tools that dominate the WBLCA Market in North American, is free and mostly importantly easy to learn and use. There is a series of video tutorials to help new users with Impact Estimator for Buildings and in no time you will be able to evaluate whole buildings and assemblies based on the internationally recognized life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology.
Another very useful LCA tool is Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator – EC3. It is also free and easy to use and includes sample models which make getting up to speed a breeze.
Any questions… just ask.