Plants, by absorbing CO2, play an essential role in reducing our carbon footprint. Knowing the amount of CO2 , which will get sequestrated by trees in a project, is great! This is one of the environmental impacts of our project.
We recently presented a session at the ASLA 2022 conference: the biggest annual gathering of landscape architects in the world.
During our presentation, we introduced some workflows to assess environmental aspects of a landscape model. One of them was the calculation of CO2 sequestration in a landscape project. Let’s get deeper!
How to calculate CO2 of a landscape model?
Our method consists of obtaining the CO2 sequestration data of plant species. We got that from a specific database. Then, we link that data to the landscape model (Lands Design objects) through creating a Grasshopper definition. With some clicks, a user can get the CO2 calculation of a Lands Design project.
Now, it’s everything in your hands! just follow these steps:
Step 1- Create a landscape model with Lands Design
A design process in Lands Design includes drawings (2D) and the landscape model (3D) which are different displays of the same file. The Lands Design objects are smart BIM objects containing data of a plant name, parameters, and botanical information. During and after the design finishes, the program already knows the quantity of each plant species in the model.
Step 2- Open the Grasshopper CO2 calculation file
Grasshopper is the free parametric design tool in Rhino. If you don’t know about Grasshopper, here is the definition: “Grasshopper is a visual programming environment tightly integrated with Rhino’s 3D modeling tools.”
Lands Design has its own components of Grasshopper including components for plants and terrains. By opening the “CO2 calculation Grasshopper file”, you will see instructions and the easy steps to calculate it. Basically, you need to indicate the actual age of the plants in your project, and the desired period of calculation.
The diagram below, describes our methodology. To see the process, watch this video. You can download the CO2 calculator Grasshopper file from here.
Step 3- How to deal with the lack of data?
The source of CO2 calculation, contains the data for a limited number of plant species. It includes the CO2 data of many species, but still there are many other species that have no data provided. Therefore, the calculation of a landscape project may be faced with the lack of data of some species. To deal with, you can manually estimate it by finding a similar species that has CO2 data in the Grasshopper definition file.
CO2 calculator, the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic challenge, available at: https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/cambio-climatico/temas/mitigacion-politicas-y-medidas/calculadoras.aspx