Needing a way of communicating the embodied carbon emissions of construction materials in a compelling way to building industry stakeholders and the general public. Make the invisible carbon emissions visible and relatable.

What it does

After doing a Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment for a given project, we can visualize the results using Augmented Reality. The sizes and scales used in this AR visualization are from real numbers on a 10 storey mixed-use project where I did an LCA study. Note that this demo is not filmed at the location of the building that was modelled, so it does not reflect the emissions from this library building where it was filmed.

It visualizes the volume of concrete, steel, glass, insulation, etc. used on this project, per m2 of floor area. Additionally, it shows how much embodied carbon emissions results from 1 m2 of floor area on this project, represented by these black spheres, each representing the volume of 1 kgCO2e at standard pressure. For this project, the baseline building was 528 kgCO2e/m2, so 528 black spheres are shown. To show 12% emissions reduction on this project, which was achieved through low carbon concrete mixes and changes in insulation, we animate 12% of these black spheres falling, with physics properly simulated.

This is a file that can be sent and viewed through any iPad gen 5 or iPhone 8 or later. It can be embedded in websites and viewed in Safari, as well as sent as a file directly to others via iMessage or email. This means hundreds of millions of iOS devices could launch this AR experience, making it a compelling way to convey this information to industry stakeholders as well as the general public.

How I built it

  • Used Blender to create a sphere
  • Downloaded material texture stock images for different construction materials
  • Used Apple's Reality Converter to apply material textures onto the spheres and export into suitable file format.
  • Import spheres into Apple's Reality Composer app on Mac and iPad. Create animations/behaviours using Reality Converter. All spheres are scaled according to actual volume in m3, represented by the volume of the spheres.
  • Created 1 kgCO2e as black spheres, properly representing volume at standard pressure.
  • Showcased 12% reduction in embodied carbon by having 12% of the black spheres fall down, with proper physics simulated.
  • All values (material volumes and CO2 emissions) are based on LCA results from a 10 storey mixed use project I had already modelled previously using One Click LCA.

Challenges I ran into

Learning Reality Composer, Reality Converter, and Blender.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Learning about how to create interesting AR experiences using Reality Composer.

What I learned

Reality Composer and the capabilities of this software to create AR experiences.

What's next for Embodied Carbon Augmented Reality Visualization

Refine the narrative and visualization, then apply this for future projects and get feedback from clients, architects, developers, etc. Share publicly on LinkedIn.

Built With

  • blender
  • reality-composer
  • reality-converter
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