KJ Tait

Whole Life Cycle Carbon Assessment Standard-2nd Edition

29 September 2023

The 2nd Edition of the RICS Whole Life Carbon Assessment Standard was released last week.  Six years since the first edition gained widespread success as a standard in the UK, the 2nd edition is now applicable worldwide.  The paper focuses on the whole life carbon assessment for the built environment, providing guidance on assessing the carbon impact of construction and built assets.  It comes into effect on 01 July 2024.  


It discusses the goal and scope of the assessment, including considerations for new construction, retrofitting, and carbon data for products and processes across the life cycle.  


What’s new in this edition?  


  • Aligns with several international standards such as the International Cost Management Standards (ICMS) and the Built Environment Carbon Database (BECD), providing consistent output of costs and carbon reporting for both new and existing assets.  


  • Integrates other professional guidelines for measuring embodied carbon from organisations such as CIBSE, IStructE and CW&CT.   


  • Outlines the importance of addressing uncertainty in the assessment and provides reporting templates for capturing relevant information.  


  • Provides detailed information on quantifying biogenic carbon sequestered in products within a building or infrastructure asset, including the point of harvest for sustainably sourced timber and biomass.  It also highlights the benefits of long-term biogenic carbon storage.  


  • Four times longer than the previous edition, it goes into depth on many important topics within the appendix to help built environment professionals across all disciplines accurately measure and report on carbon.   


We’re looking forward to aligning our whole lifecycle carbon assessments with this edition for our whole lifecycle carbon analysis and will continue to support the WLCA journey by sharing our collected data with the BECD to help benchmark WLCA for future projects.   


To download the new edition: www.rics.org/profession-standards/rics-standards-and-guidance/sector-standards/construction-standards/whole-life-carbon-assessment 


To learn more about KJ Tait’s WLCA services: kjtait.com/projects/specialism/whole-life-cycle-carbon/