This is a page of links to a number of exciting and interesting reports and papers we’ve been involved with over the past few years.
“Lightweight backfill materials in integral bridge construction” – Atkins (2012)
An article in the Atkins Global magazine. oCo Carbon’s role was looking at the embodied carbon impact of specifying lightweight materials instead of soil as backfill for a road-bridge over a railway. An updated version will be appearing in the ICE Bridges journal.
“Factorial differential sensitivity analysis of office refurbishment: A life cycle cost and life cycle carbon study” – Graduate School for the Environment (2011)
A conference paper based on my MRes dissertation which looks at building a parametric model of fabric refurbishment options for an office building. It also includes a section on optimising insulation thicknesses for optimum carbon performance or optimum financial performance.
For the latest update of zerocarbonbritain, oCo Carbon were involved as experts participating in a number of workshop events on themes such as the built environment and renewable energy. The Matrix model developed by oCo Carbon formed a part of the underlying framework and was used to create the iconic “tube-map” or Sankey Diagram below. You can visit the zerocarbonbritain website for more info, downloads or hard copies of the report.
The Offshore Valuation project was led by PIRC who were behind the first zerocarbonbritain report. The project’s aim was to put a value on the energy resource that remains to be tapped off the shoes of Britain, long after the North Sea’s oil and gas run out. oCo Carbon’s input was to conduct a literature review of the energy return on energy investment (EROEI) of a number of electricity sources including wind, wave, tidal, coal, gas and nuclear generation. You can read a report on this work on the oCo Carbon blog.
This was a report comparing the whole life carbon footprint of refurbished homes compared with that of new build homes. It found that embodied carbon was about 1/3 as much for refurbished homes and that it took approximately 50 – 60 years for the new homes to repay that difference through lower in-use emissions. We have updated some of this analysis in an oCo Carbon blog post, Refurbish or Replace?
Released as the credit crunch was beginning to be felt across the world, this report looked at the evidence that we are approaching peak oil – the point when it is no longer possible to increase the annual extraction rate of oil from the ground. oCo Carbon, with input from The Open University, Centre for Alternative Technology and the Energy Saving Trust, created an updated Matrix model which showed the annual energy efficiencies and ramp-up in renewable energy required to cope with a 5% decrease in available oil per year.
This was a report in collaboration with WWF-UK and CarbonPlan. It used analysis of REAP data on Local Authority ecological footprints from research by the Stockholm Environment Instititute which we then adapted to look at individual cities.
Ecological footprints are a measure of the amount of productive land that is required to support an individual, group, region or product. It is this measure which is at the root of the One Planet Living idea.
The first zerocarbonbritain report was an update of the Centre for Alternative Technology’s 1977 Alternative Energy Strategy. It grew out of a year of study groups by the MSc students, followed by an intensive couple of months of writing and research. The result was a 100 page report and an energy flows model called the Matrix which has been used again and again by oCo Carbon.