More state support for Morgan Sindall’s carbon tool

Whole lotta learning going on

Morgan Sindall and Nottingham Trent University are collaborating on the adaptation of the contractor’s whole life carbon assessment (WLCA) software tool, CarboniCa, being adapted for higher education.

One of the aims is to create teaching modules for the university. The hope is that these can be made available to other universities and training institutions under licence once the project is complete.

Innovate UK has awarded CarboniCa Education £55,000 grant support for feasibility studies; Morgan Sindall itself has financed the development of the software.

This award follows separate Innovate UK grant support of £947,000 to Morgan Sindall, Nottingham Trent University and the software company ConstructSys to develop novel algorithms that automate the process of data collection and evaluation in WLCA, which speeds up the assessment process. 

CarboniCa was launched by Morgan Sindall Construction in 2021. It is already being used on more than 100 large building projects each year and is credited with having saved more than 30,000 tonnes of carbon. 

 The new CarboniCa Education programme will be organised into two modules. CarboniCa Engage has a focus on the carbon impact of different material types and knowledge of carbon hotspots for typical buildings. CarboniCa Immerse, meanwhile, contains tutorials on the use of whole life carbon assessment tools such as CarboniCa. Once the development work is finished the programme will be integrated into the content for built environment-related courses at Nottingham Trent University (NTU). 

Tim Clement, director of social value and sustainability at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “It’s not uncommon within UK Plc to hear complaints about the apparent disconnect between industry and education but the opposite is true in this case. Morgan Sindall is working hand in hand with Nottingham Trent University to find ways to grow our industry’s skills base, which is widely acknowledged to be operating with a significant shortfall in green skills.

“As the Construction Industry Training Board has pointed out, for the UK to deliver on its net zero aims, 350,000 new roles need to be created in the construction industry. That means new ideas, transformative change and better use of technology is required now. We are a solutions-focused organisation and the whole CarboniCa programme is at the leading edge of speeding up the response to meeting the sustainability challenges our country faces.”

Professor Richard Bull, deputy dean of NTU’s School of Architecture, Design & the Built Environment, said: “Equipping our students with the green skills necessary for a net zero future is central to our mission as a school and wider university. It’s been an amazing opportunity for our students, lecturers, and alumni to work with Morgan Sindall to help develop CarboniCa and influence the future of education for sustainable development in the construction sector.”

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