Urban planning has a long history of defining, measuring, and attempting to optimize urban density and form. Historical and continuing trends, including increasing urbanisation, growth of cities, more buildings, more square meters per inhabitant, and the need for new infrastructure and services, present new challenges. Municipalities often lack the background data and methodology to independently estimate the materials, energy, and emissions associated with new developments. Moreover, current policy strategies and forthcoming EU and national regulations regarding climate change mitigation require the ability to quantify and visualise the consequences of new developments when considering different options regarding building types, settlement patterns, and further development of urban or rural areas.
The Embodied Energy and Emission Settlement tool (EES) was developed through the research project EE Settlement – Embodied Energy, Costs and Traffic in Different Settlement Patterns (2017-2021, NFR project number: 270842), with the goal of addressing the need of several actors for a user friendly and transparent tool. EES is a web-based tool designed to allow different user groups to quickly assess and compare embodied and operational energy and GHG emissions associated to buildings, infrastructure and car transport generated by residents, and public costs related to new development projects. EES was developed based on existing national and international methodologies and databases, to get a broader picture of the environmental and economic outcomes in the early planning phase of an area development. For further development of EES tool, Path4EES focuses on getting better insights on the market potential, customer needs and identification of relevant actors, and exploring possible pathways for commercialisation of the tool.