Free Carbon Calculator Helps Construction Industry Cut Emissions, Replace Aging Infrastructure

October 2009 Vol. 64 No. 10

British Columbia-based PW Trenchless Construction Inc. is sponsoring the upgrade of a carbon calculator tool.

British Columbia-based PW Trenchless Construction Inc., with the help of a contribution from The National Research Council (NRC), Canada's premier science and technology research organization, is sponsoring the upgrade of a carbon calculator tool that will measure the environmental benefits of trenchless technologies – construction methods for the installation of pipelines and cables below the ground with minimal excavation required.

The BC Chapter of the North American Society of Trenchless Technology (NASTT) built the original Carbon Calculator to help contractors and municipal engineers estimate the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions when trenchless technology methods are used compared to open-cut methods. The upgrade to the NASTT Carbon Calculator will extend its functionality and scope and apply a new, user-friendly interface.

Trenchless methods reduce the volume of material displaced during underground construction – a critical factor in the reduction of greenhouse gases. In addition, they provide savings in construction time and costs.

This is particularly meaningful at a time when governments are faced with the challenges of reducing carbon emissions while aging infrastructure is in desperate need of replacement. With recession-driven budget restraints, the NASTT Carbon Calculator will help government better plan underground infrastructure projects.

PW Trenchless Construction will also supply funding which, combined with the NRC contribution, will support the development of the software upgrade to the NASTT Carbon Calculator. The Simon Fraser University’s Adaptation to Climate Change Team will provide project management and Habitat Enterprises, a Vancouver-based emissions reduction company, will provide system design and programming to ensure third party verification of the data and the validity of the program.

NASTT and PW Trenchless plan to provide the enhanced tool free of charge to interested parties to show that the use of trenchless methods will significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

The new version of the NASTT Carbon Calculator is projected to be ready for use by Oct. 1, 2009.