About a week ago, the Rocky Mountain Institute launched Green Footstep, a free online carbon calculator for reducing emissions in building construction and retrofit projects.  The website also features three case studies together with an explanation of the Green Footstep methodology.  With the tool, you can:

  • Assess the total carbon footprint attributable to the development, construction, and operation of your design;
  • Find information to set carbon emissions goals and design targets;
  • Find the most effective strategies to meet the Architecture 2030 challenge and obtain credits in green building rating systems such as LEED; and
  • Examine your strategies in the context of a financial model based on life cycle cost analysis. 

In a press release, Victor Olgyay, AIA, principal at RMI said, "Green Footstep makes it easier for design professionals to set the design targets they’ll need to achieve a carbon neutrality that includes not just operation, but also embodied carbon and others … just as a life cycle cost analysis of a green building design shows the operating costs you are saving over time, Green Footstep shows you the saved carbon."

I've been playing around with the tool for a little bit; it's full of really helpful information.  You can sign up for the free account and save/modify projects as you work on them.  Feel free to take Green Footprint for a spin and tell us what you think.