Launch of the universal carbon reporting method in buildings and infrastructures


An international coalition of construction experts has published the world’s first universal standard for reporting carbon dioxide emissions used in construction and the life cycle of structures – also known as “embodied and operational carbon” in the world. ‘industry.

The International Cost Management Standard – or ICMS3 – defines a methodology that allows construction professionals and developers to account for the amount of incorporated carbon their projects will create, whether through the delivery of new roads, schools, offices, housing. or railways.

It is estimated that 40% of global carbon emissions are emitted each year by the construction of new buildings and infrastructure, and the industry has accepted that it must adapt in order to meet the pressing need to avert a climate catastrophe.

The launch of ICMS3 represents the pistol shot for the construction industry to embrace net-zero as an interconnected global industry, and follows on from the COP-26 climate conference in Glasgow, UK ) where world leaders set bold goals to avert a global catastrophe.

Prior to launch, there were conflicting ways of reporting carbon, and according to the RICS Global Construction Monitor, 40% of the industry did not believe accurate carbon measurement was understood. The coalition – via ICMS3 – has introduced a simple and easy-to-use method that will allow the reporting of emissions created – which in the near future will allow developers to modify their proposals (either by selecting more sustainable materials or by adopting construction practices ) to reduce the impact on the climate.

In addition to accounting for “embodied carbon”, ICMS3 also allows the life cycle, costs and carbon impacts of a building or infrastructure to be taken into account long after construction is finished.

In addition, with the aim of renovating and reusing old buildings, rather than demolishing them, the standard provides developers with data and information that could enable them to think informed about the value of the renovation.

As a global professional body, RICS is poised to incorporate the new coalition standards into its standards and guidelines for all members operating in the construction industry. As such, RICS plans to publish a lifetime carbon assessment standard in 2022, which will align with ICMS3.


Alan Muse, Head of Construction Standards at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: “Decarbonizing construction is now essential to achieving the goals of COP 26. Above all, to achieve this we need reporting systems globally standardized – unless we measure it, we can’t manage it.

“The use of ICMS 3 will benefit all construction stakeholders who wish to reduce carbon emissions for a combination of compliance, market and societal reasons and also stimulate innovation in terms of designs and alternative solutions. . “

Justin Sullivan, President of the ICMS Coalition and the Construction Industry Council, added, “The ICMS journey has been a beacon in how the collaboration works. We have 49 international public interest organizations that together have created world-class standards in the construction and infrastructure sectors.


“When it comes to international standards for costs, life cycle and carbon in construction, we are the only show in town, true pioneers.

“The timing of the launch of ICMS3, THE standard for carbon in construction could not be better with the world stage digesting and implementing the results of COP26. Forward and up.

The International Cost Management Standard (ICMS3) can be viewed and read for free on the RICS website here: ICMS 3 (

Today’s post follows a consultation that took place earlier this year and solicited views from all sides of the construction industry.

ICMS is supported by a coalition of international organizations, including:

African Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS)

Association for the Advancement of International Cost Engineering (AACE)

Association of Cost Engineers (ACostE)

Association of South African Surveyors (ASAQS)

Australian Institute of Surveyors (AIQS)

Brazilian Institute of Cost Engineers (IBEC)

Japan Institute of Building Surveyors (BSIJ)

Canadian Association of Quantity Surveyors (CACQS)

Canadian Institute of Surveyors (CQS)

Approved Building Institute (CIOB)

Approved Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES)

China Electricity Council (CEC)

China Engineering Costs Association (CECA)

Commonwealth Land Survey and Economics Association (CASLE)

European Council of Construction Economists (CEEC)

Consejo General de la Arquitectura Técnica de España (CGATE)

Dutch Association of Land Surveyors (NVBK)

European Federation of Engineering Consultants Associations (EFCA)

International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)

Fijian Institute of Surveyors (FIQS)

Ghanaian Institute of Surveyors (GhIS)

Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS)

Ikatan Quantity Surveyor Indonesia (IQSI)

Indian Institute of Surveyors (IIQS)

Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Kenya Institute of Surveyors (IQSK)

Sri Lanka Institute of Surveyors (IQSSL)

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

Kenya Surveyor Institution (ISK)

Uganda Surveyor Institution (ISU)

International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC)

Italian Association for Total Cost Management (AICE)

Korean Institute of Surveyors (KIQS)

Fachverein für Management und Ökonomie im Bauwesen (maneco)

New Zealand Institute of Land Surveyors (NZIQS)

Nigerian Institute of Surveyors (NIQS)

Pacific Association of Land Surveyors (PAQS)

Philippine Institute of Certified Surveyors (PICQS)

New Zealand Property Institute (PINZ)

Quantity Surveyors International (QSi)

Botswana Real Estate Institute (REIB)

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Royal Malaysian Institute of Surveyors (RISM)

Singapore Institute of Construction Limited (SIBL)

Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Surveyors (SISV)

Sociedad Mexicana de Ingeniería Económica, Financiera y de Costos (SMIEFC)

Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI)

National Union of Construction Economists (UNTEC)

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