This study develops a carbon emission measurement system for prefabricated residential buildings (PRBs) during the materialization phase based on building information modeling (BIM) and a carbon emission measurement model. The model is constructed using the carbon emission coefficient method. For more accurate measurement, the materialization phase of PRBs’ carbon cycle is re-defined into five stages (material production, material transportation, component production, component transportation, and construction). This innovative system also incorporates Microsoft Access-based databases for data management. The implementation of the system in a PRB project in Shenzhen, China revealed that over 90% of carbon emissions were generated in the building material production and construction stages, and overall carbon emissions per unit volume of all the prefabricated components were 764.87 kg/m3, 20.11% lower than those of the cast-in-situ parts. Compared with results obtained from the traditional method, the system’s percentage error was 6.52%, showing good reliability in carbon emission measurement. The discrepancy was reasonably justified by inevitable material losses and transportation distances. It is concluded that the measurement system can accurately predict PRB projects’ carbon emissions in project planning and early design, identify key areas for carbon emission pre-control, and facilitate dynamic management of carbon emission reduction during the materialization phase.

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