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Specification and Procurement Guide

This guide has been created to support designers and contractors who are facing the difficult task of trying to reduce embodied carbon without a clear roadmap to follow.


The Low Embodied Carbon Specification and Procurement guide is intended to support that process by considering specification and procurement in more detail, thereby helping to reduce the embodied carbon performance gap between the design intent and the reality of construction. This follows on and links to the LETI Embodied Carbon Primer, which was created to help designers make embodied carbon reduction strategies on projects.

Design and construction is a complex process, with many factors, processes and issues to consider and until recently embodied carbon has not been a significant factor of consideration. This guide aims to share the collective experience of low embodied carbon project delivery, to provide greater understanding of the barriers and opportunities that exist within the process and raise awareness of some of the techniques that can be employed to reduce the embodied carbon of new construction. In particular the need for greater engagement between all members of the supply chain.


When we started our work, we were determined that this procurement guide would offer practical advice that could be applied at different scales of building. We have consulted widely with industry experts to provide their thoughts on how to manage the procurement process and specifications, offering you an approach which we hope you can develop and adopt to your projects. 


This work includes a project embodied carbon reduction roadmap, suggesting how embodied carbon reduction can be brought into the early stages of the design process, as well as learning from the final build. There is guidance on material efficiency and specification, provided in a series of material guides and finally, three case studies, specifically chosen to illustrate the embodied carbon reduction roadmap.

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