Carbon Avoided: Retrofit Estimator
The CARE Tool allows users to compare the total carbon impacts of renovating an existing building vs. replacing it with a new one.
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“For everyone who has been interested in connecting building reuse with climate action but unsure where to start, the answer has arrived—start with CARE.”Jack RuskClimate Strategist, EHDD
Enter general project information in the first tab and information about the existing building in the second tab. In the third tab enter information about renovating the existing building including any planned additions, and in the fourth tab enter information about the new building to replace the existing building. Click an information for more details.
Compare each option using the charts and table to the right. The results will automatically populate once enough information is entered and automatically update as inputs are adjusted.
CARE Tool is already making an impact.
Like most practices, we do a healthy mix of major renovation and new construction. We’ve done deep-dive simulations of up-front (embodied) carbon emissions as well as projected carbon emissions from building operation—spending hundreds of staff hours. The CARE tool allows us to demonstrate—in minutes—the benefits of transformational renovations—not just to the human experience of the buildings, but to their environmental footprint. This is a great addition to the tools architects need to make the case for the rapid transformation of our existing building stock.Z SmithFAIA, Principal and Director of Sustainability and Building Performance, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
The CARE Tool is the first reliable embodied carbon calculator I’ve used that can quickly and easily compare the multiple design options for renovating an existing building. We were able to understand the impact of adding space, saving various percentages of the existing materials, and how the amount of renewable energy affected the total emissions intensity, and make recommendations to the client.Tiffany Broyles YostAssociate Principal, Director of Sustainability and Resilience, GBBN
CARE provides clarity to the value of existing buildings and goals we must set for energy and materials that will lead to a lower carbon impact.Julia SiplePrincipal and Director of Sustainability, Quinn Evans Architects
Focused on existing buildings, CARE helps designers, planners, and portfolio managers make data-driven decisions about reducing climate impacts in the built environment. CARE presents nuanced information through a well-designed and feature-rich interface, presenting complex data about the time value of carbon in easy-to-interpret charts. For everyone who has been interested in connecting building reuse with climate action but unsure where to start, the answer has arrived—start with CARE.Jack RuskClimate Strategist, EHDD
The CARE Tool is helping one of my PhD students with comparative research between existing educational buildings with flat glazed façades versus retrofitted ones with deep sunken pockets in a hot climate.Khaled A. Al-Sallal,PhD, Consulting Architect, Concreto, and Professor of Architecture at UAEU-CHK
The CARE Tool has been an incredibly impactful tool for decision-making in the early design phase and has helped the team understand the total carbon impacts of renovating the existing building compared with demolishing to build new. It has allowed the owner to see the actual data that we understand intuitively; that it is better to reuse the building stock that we have, even when it requires a significant renovation.Michelle LambertFounding Principle, Lambert Sustainability
The most direct possible way to reduce embodied carbon is to reuse and upgrade an existing building rather than replacing it with new construction. The easy-to-use CARE Tool will be an important contribution helping building designers address these upfront emissions with far more urgency, early in the design process, and providing the data and analysis required to make a compelling case for reuse to clients and stakeholders.Andrew HimesDirector of Collective Impact, Carbon Leadership Forum
As architects wrestle with integrating greenhouse gas emissions into their design thinking, it is especially important to have good tools to facilitate early decisions. The CARE Tool was designed for this purpose. The project information needed to use CARE is very streamlined, requiring only the most basic knowledge of the project, a level of information designers should have before making any decisions.Carl ElefanteFAIA, Climate Heritage Network
The CARE Tool is part of an important new wave of data analysis tools desperately needed by the design, construction and building stewardship communities in the global fight against Climate Chaos. As a co-founder of the ZNCC Zero Net Carbon Collaboration, we were one of the tool’s earliest champions and most constant advocates. That is because the CARE Tool will help the decarbonization process at the earliest stages of pre-design. Developed by a brilliant group of architects who know this stuff, the CARE Tool will help us all SCALE UP the speed of decarbonizing the built environment, which is half the battle for GHG emissions. We trust increased use will foster ongoing developments and make the CARE Tool indispensable.Mark Thompson BrandtPrincipal, Trace Architectures and ZNCC-Founding Co-Chair
The first big decision is always to build or not to build. Although there are many factors to consider, embodied carbon is one of the most important impacts that should always be analyzed. For property owners and local governments who set policies, it's critical to mandate this analysis. One of the best outcomes of piloting the CARE Tool on a specific project for a state construction agency (DCAMM) is how its use will inform the development of policies and guidelines for the design and construction community for future projects. Massachusetts’ new Executive Order for decarbonization necessitates the creation of policies at many levels and the best policies are based on testing applying real life cases to understand what's needed.Barbra BatshalomExecutive Director, Sustainable Performance Institute
Founding Project Developers
Larry Strain | Siegel & Strain Architects
Lori Feriss | Goody Clancy
Erin McDade | Architecture 2030