Carbon accounting protocol in construction

X. Liu, Shu-Chien Hsu, Q. Cui

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Carbon accounting and reporting will likely become necessary for various key industrial sectors due to government regulations and policies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of finalizing the power-plant carbon rules. Working towards a regional carbon trading scheme, the state of California will soon require annual carbon emission reporting of compliance that covers 85% emission sources and industry sectors. While the construction industry has the third highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions among all US industry sectors, emission estimates are dramatically different from construction activities primarily due to the complexity of construction activities and the lack of carbon accounting standards. This paper presents a framework of carbon accounting for construction projects. The paper compares existing enterprise carbon accounting standards and evaluates their applicability at the project level. A life-cycle project carbon accounting protocol is developed that follows a bottom-up approach and covers emissions from site-preparation, material manufacture, on-site construction, waste management, operation and environmental mitigation. With detailed discussion on calculation methods for example emission sources, the protocol provides a guideline for construction professionals to identify possible alternatives in terms of CO2emissions and form a complete list of baseline candidates.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - Carbon Management Technology Conference 2012
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventCarbon Management Technology Conference 2012 - Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center, Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 7 Feb 20129 Feb 2012


ConferenceCarbon Management Technology Conference 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Media Technology
  • General Environmental Science


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