CSBR College of Design


Minnesota Site and Building Carbon Calculator

The CSBR Site and Building Carbon Calculator tool is intended to assist site developers, building designers, facility owners and operators with the calculation of their carbon footprint for their site and building development. For new projects, the tool is designed to assist architects and developers in estimating the greenhouse gas impacts of alternative design decisions in the early phases of design. The tool is also designed to determine the carbon footprint of existing buildings. Other purposes of the calculator are:

  • Promote a comprehensive, accurate and understandable impact of greenhouse gases on site and building development for non-professionals and the general public
  • Support the comparison of GHG impacts of alternative site and building development and compare this to other site and building developments.
  • Enable measurement toward climate goals and regulatory requirements
  • Provide a metric for the site and building development industry and regulatory agencies

There are many existing carbon calculators with varying approaches and assumptions. The CSBR tool includes the most accepted and reliable existing methods. Determining what activities to include and what to exclude are the most difficult issues in developing a carbon calculator. The approach in the CSBR Site and Building Carbon Calculator is to include all reasonable sources of greenhouse gas emissions that result from design, construction, operation and demolition or recycling of the site and building. The user can select which of these to include in the final analysis. Sources include:

  • Operating energy
  • Potable water
  • Wastewater
  • Solid waste
  • Materials
  • Transportation
  • Soils
  • Vegetation

Carbon Calculator Description »

Download Minnesota Site and Building Carbon Calculator »

Development of the Minnesota Site and Building Design Carbon Calculator was funded by an Environmental Assistance Grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and technical assistance was provided by the MPCA's Green Building Program.

Project: Minnesota Site and Building Carbon Calculator
Principal Investigators:  John Carmody and Richard Strong
Project Team: John Carmody, Richard Strong and and Rolf Nordstrom
Sponsor: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Status: Complete
Download: Minnesota Site and Building Carbon Calculator



Buildings, Benchmarks & Beyond (B3)

U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Guidelines


CSBR - Center for Sustainable Building Research:
1425 University Avenue SE, Suite 115
Minneapolis, MN 55455
voice: 612.626.2737
fax: 612.626.7424