James Latham Officially Launches Carbon Calculator

James Latham Ltd (Lathams), one of the UK’s leading distributors of timber, panels and decorative surfaces, officially launch its powerful new specification tool, the Carbon Calculator at Futurebuild 2022.

Developed in partnership with the University of Bangor the Lathams Carbon Calculator has been designed to help architects and designers better understand the sustainability of the materials they specify. Trialled amongst Lathams’ customers over the past three months, it is already assisting them in selecting the most suitable, sustainable option to meet their respective project requirements. It is also giving specifiers essential assurance that the information they receive relating to a product’s carbon credentials is complete and accurate, from sourcing the raw materials to selection and delivery.

The Carbon Calculator is a back-end tool, designed to achieve transparency and give specifiers confidence when selecting for sustainability. Built using official, publicly available data and manufacturer product information, the Carbon Calculator collates and aggregates the environmental impact of a chosen material, according to three criteria: Carbon Footprint, Embodied Carbon and Data Confidence.

Once evaluated, the product receives a confidence rating from 1-4 (one being the best). The lower the score, the higher the availability and quality of data points reviewed (e.g. published EPDs). The final rating, including carbon data, is then added to quotations, invoices, delivery notes, and other key documentation, delivering a tangible, codified proof point. This ensures a robust audit trail for the product, providing valuable information for future carbon reporting and responding to sustainability briefs.

It is important to caveat, even the lowest-rated materials still meet stringent supply requirements, such as mandatory sourcing from sustainably managed forests. Essentially, the Carbon Calculator’s rating is intended to highlight the quality and range of available product information, certification and documentation, informing the specifier if data is based on an estimate or actual performance.

Commenting on the launch of the Carbon Calculator, Ewa Bazydlo, Environmental Manager at Lathams, said: “We feel that this is the latest milestone in an exciting journey towards low-carbon specification across the entire building, construction and design community. By providing a methodology through which the value of sustainability information and certification can be holistically appreciated, we’re increasing confidence amongst architects and designers that they are making the greenest choice possible, in line with the requirements of their project brief. Working closely with academic institutions, market leading suppliers, designers and developers we’ve created a backend tool which adds tangible value to the material selection process.”

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