The Deep Foundations Institute and the European Federation of Foundation Contractors recently announced a jointly developed Geotechnical Carbon Calculator.
The groups called the calculator "pioneering" and said that it's believed to be one of the first standardized carbon assessment tools for European and international markets. It's designed to help in comparing the sustainability of different foundation techniques.
“The way the industry has collaborated through the EFFC and DFI to provide data and fund the project is a real achievement,” said Marine Lasne, sustainability director at Soletanche Freyssinet and chairwoman of DFI’s Sustainability Committee. Lasne led work on the calculator, which has been in development since March 2012.
“Several European companies had already developed their own calculator and agreed to share their knowledge to reach the best possible common denominator for all. The calculator will have a significant impact on the ability to demonstrate and compare the sustainability of different foundation techniques,” Lasne said. “But success will come from widespread use of the system and we must ensure that it becomes known and accepted by clients, so use and promotion of the calculator by everyone in the industry is vital.”
Technical development was done by Paris-based carbon consulting firm Carbone 4.
A database of standardized emissions factors feed into the calculator, forming the basis of carbon-footprint analysis for any given project. That database covers foundation and ground engineering techniques, and currently includes bored piles, displacement piles, micropiles, diaphragm and slurry walls, sheet pile walls, grouting and soil mixing.
The construction industry uses carbon measurement as its chief yardstick for sustainability.
The Geotechnical Carbon Calculator allows contractors to estimate the carbon footprint of designs and share that information with clients. Clients can then use that information to weigh the environmental impact of one proposal versus another.
The calculator requires registration at, where users will find full information about its development, methodology and use. The calculator is free to download.
The EFFC represents more than 450 foundations contractors across Europe. Find out more at

The DFI is an international association of contractors, engineers, academics and suppliers in the deep foundations industry with more than 3,300 members worldwide. For more information about the Deep Foundations Institute, visit