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Material Carbon Emissions Estimator (MCE2)

MCE2 is designed for Canada’s home building industry. It quantifies the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with specific low-rise, residential building designs by providing two important estimates:

  1. the GHG emissions associated with manufacturing required building materials
  2. the estimated GHG emissions from operating the home (calculated using results from a HOT2000 energy model)

Together, these results predict the overall GHG impact on the climate of a new home or renovation (its carbon use intensity, or CUI) and provides industry with insights for reduction opportunities.

An excavator extracts raw materials from the ground, it is processed in a factory, resulting in a finished construction material.

Material embodied carbon

Text version

Material embodied carbon encompasses emissions from resource extraction, transportation, and from manufacturing associated with residential building (thereby encompassing emissions from stages A1-A3 of Life Cycle Assessment). These emissions are called “cradle to gate emissions”.

The tool allows users to compare materials on a component-by-component basis, as well as by whole assemblies. The majority of a building’s high impact materials are represented in the calculator. NRCan has included a wide range of structure and enclosure assemblies and materials, as well as many common cladding, sheathing and finishing materials for residential construction.

Download MCE2

  • The MCE2 tool (xls, 4 MB) calculates project-specific estimates based on user inputs
  • The MCE2 user guide (PDF, 2 MB) describes the significance of material carbon emissions, and provides instructions on how to use the tool
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