Assessing the environmental impact of construction projects

Online databases Rephrame and EPiC enable industry stakeholders to make better-informed decisions about building materials

The need

The Environmental Performance in Construction (EPiC) Database is the culmination of a four-year project to develop a comprehensive model for assessing the environmental impact of construction projects.

Initially released in 2019, EPiC is freely available and functions as a design tool that incorporates large amounts of data related to building materials, from their extraction from the ground to their arrival at the factory gate, with the goal of enabling industry to improve the environmental performance of projects at their earliest stages.

Developing the solution

Since its release, EPiC has grown to also be utilised in the Rephrame web app, which enables anyone to enter a small amount of information about the size of a plot of land and the intended height of a building to rapidly assess the level of embodied emissions in a building design.

The Rephrame project has received $100,000 in Proof-of-Concept funding from the University of Melbourne, which will enable the team to integrate a cost assessment and optimisation function into the tool.

Together, EPiC and Rephrame fill a gap in the market for the rapidly-growing construction industry and provides builders with an easy tool that delivers a comprehensive assessment of how construction materials affect the environment, including through the release of greenhouse gases.


Professor Robert Crawford and Dr James Helal, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

More information

First published on 8 November 2023.

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