David Marcus
4 minute read

Learn about the Transportation metric in Arc's performance score.

Transportation is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce pollution and land development effects from transportation, designers, building teams and all of us should be tracking environmental impacts related to commuting.

The Transportation metric in Arc

The Transportation score in Arc is generated from a brief survey that asks respondents, "On a typical day, how do you get to the building—one day, one way?" Respondents provide their typical mode or modes of transportation, as well as the distance traveled for each mode.

For example, this would cover walking half a mile and then taking a train six miles to get to the office. This information is converted to equivalent carbon emissions in the platform. The survey must be administered at least once per 12 months to collect the data needed to calculate carbon emissions, and a minimum response rate much be achieved to generate a score.

Each building has a customized survey link available in the platform that can be distributed in one of two ways: 1) emailing the survey link, or 2) collecting responses in a common area from either a single shared device or multiple devices like tablets.

Building teams will collect Transportation and Human Experience data from the two questions in the survey. The survey is available in six languages: English, French, Portuguese, German, Spanish and Chinese. It typically takes only a couple of minutes to complete the survey. Step-by-step guidance for gathering transportation information from occupants is available on the Arc YouTube playlist.

To calculate a Transportation score, the following data is required:

  • Number of regular building occupants and visitors,
  • Minimum number of survey responses (typically a minimum of 25 percent of total occupancy)
  • Commuting transportation mode(s), and
  • Distance traveled (in miles or kilometers).

Additionally, operational days are used to calculate the annual carbon impact from transportation to and from the building. The default value of 313 operational days can be updated within the building settings in Arc.

The power of analytics

Transportation impacts are tracked in Arc based on the carbon impacts of occupants and visitors traveling to the building. The Transportation score rates the project’s greenhouse gas emissions, measured in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2e) resulting from transportation to and from the building against that of other buildings worldwide. The score is a value from 1 to 100, based on the project’s average CO2e per one-way trip per occupant.

An emissions value is calculated automatically in Arc, for each building occupant that completes the survey, and an average emissions value is calculated by taking an average of the individual emissions. The project’s average CO2e per one-way trip per occupant (lbs) value is then put into the transportation scoring function, to produce a transportation performance score.

Teams can export survey results to further analyze and understand the commuting patterns. The Portfolio feature in the platform helps organizations compare and consolidate transportation-based emissions across the portfolio.

At 601 13th Street in Washington, D.C., the transportation survey revealed to management that more occupants were taking bicycles to the office than previously thought. The team identified the need to install new, larger facilities to provide more bike storage for occupants.

Learn more who is using Arc by visiting arcskoru.com. Did you know that if your building is LEED-certified, it is already in Arc? You can log in using your USGBC username and password, or contact us to see your score and start tracking today.

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