GBCA Feedback

eTool drives on innovation and forward thinking to bring solutions and help us mitigate environmental impacts. We have been working closely with GBCA since 2013 when LCA was included as an Innovation Challenge. Since completing its first LCA later that year, eTool has become a leader in providing consultancy and software services related to LCA for the Green Building industry.
There are now over 50 projects that used eToolLCD to achieve the Materials Life Cycle Impact credit and technical experience was developed internally at eTool and amongst software users.
The construction industry is moving to LCA for environmental decision making, and recognising that the only way to prevent adverse trade off is to use life cycle assessment within a life cycle design process. Following this global trend, eTool thought it was very important to provide feedback when GBCA opened for public consultation. Here are some of the key points included:
• Consideration of functionality in the principles, and use of LCA as early as possible to inform the design process.
• Normalisation and weighting should be considered to prevent negative trade offs between environmental impacts and guarantee whole of building performance.
• Use of LCA model to calculate GHG, Water and other life cycle impacts because it is very flexible, it delivers good environmental outcomes and it is aligned with global trend, which simplifies the maintenance of GS calculator tools.
We look forward to the advancements of LCA use within the Green Building industry so please stay tuned for more news on this soon.

 

Featured User – James Leiper

James Leiper, Pritchard Francis

We now have over 1,800 registered eToolLCD users across 61 different countries and we’d like to take a moment each month to celebrate some of our amazing users who are working towards a more sustainable future.

Our featured user of August 2016 is James Leiper from Pritchard Francis. James is a Project Engineer based in Perth who joined the eToolLCD community in May 2016 and recently completed his first full LCA study.

This month we chatted to James about LCD and asked the following questions:

  • What does sustainable building mean to you?

“I see sustainable building as that which accounts for the needs of the present, without compromising the needs of the future society. I like thinking of sustainable designs as those incorporating a really holistic approach to design, where innovation across the different disciplines can come together to create something amazing!”

  • What inspires you about life cycle design?

“I love that you can demonstrate the true benefits of using more sustainable products over their full life cycle. It helps prevent the “easy way out” approach of maybe using the cheapest up-front solution, as often the more sustainable option will be the smarter and more economical choice over time.”

  • What do you like about creating your own LCA models?

“I like being able to change elements in the models at my leisure to get the full picture and where we, as designers, can have the most impact! There’s also nothing quite like knowing how much you’re doing to contribute to sustainability in design on your own projects.”

Rebecca.Dracup

Featured User – Rebecca Dracup

We now have over 1,800 registered eToolLCD users across 61 different countries and we’d like to take a moment each month to celebrate some of our amazing users who are working towards a more sustainable future.

Our featured user of June 2016 is Rebecca Dracup from Wood & Grieve Engineers. Rebecca is a sustainability engineer based in Perth who is passionate about creating a better built environment for current and future community members.

This month we chatted to Rebecca about LCD and asked the following questions:

  • What does sustainable building mean to you?

“Sustainable building design is designing with consideration for the future occupants and the environment.”

  • What inspires you about life cycle design?

“It feels a bit like looking at earth from space, life cycle design gives sustainability professionals an opportunity to take a step back and think about the entire project.”

  • What do you like about creating your own LCA models?

“I enjoy seeing the impacts that different materials have on a model. For example, in a recent LCA I did on a warehouse I compared the use of natural and artificial refrigerants. The use of the natural refrigerants greatly reduced the ozone depletion impacts of the proposed building. We knew that natural refrigerants have lower ozone depletion potential than artificial refrigerants, however it was great to see the size of the impacts over the full life cycle of the building and the magnitude of these in relation to the rest of the building’s impacts.”

 

Hannah Morton, Cundall

Featured User – Hannah Morton

Hannah Morton, Cundall

We now have over 1,800 registered eToolLCD users across 61 different countries and we’d like to take a moment each month to celebrate some of our amazing users who are working towards a more sustainable future.

Our featured user of February 2016 is Hannah Morton from Cundall. Hannah’s commitment to driving sustainability in the built environment, accompanies a background in renewable energy and low-impact building design, with experience spanning a wide range of project types from master-planning and large mixed-use developments, to premium office towers, residential, retail and retirement projects.

This month we asked Hannah the following question:

  • What does sustainable building mean to you?

“In my opinion, sustainable buildings are those which account for their life cycle impacts both up and downstream.  They should make a net positive contribution to the environment and society in which they exist, being equitable, resilient, healthy, life sustaining and respectful of all species. ”

 

LoveLCD_Banner

Why Love LCD? – Henrique Mendonca

We love Life Cycle Design (LCD), which is why we’ve made it the core of our business.

Earlier this year we launched our ‘Love LCD’ campaign where we ask each member of the team at eTool why they love LCD. There are lots of reasons to love it, and we hope that we can show you just how great it is.

Why Love LCD?

Reason #1: As a result of global collaboration we have an international standard for quantifying environmental performance of our buildings.

Watch Henrique Mendonca talk about why he loves LCD:

Tell us what you love about Life Cycle Design. Share it with us!

Joe Karten, Built

Featured User – Joe Karten

We now have over 1,800 registered eToolLCD users across 61 different countries and we’d like to take a moment each month to celebrate some of our amazing users who are working towards a more sustainable future.

Our third featured user is Joe Karten from Built. Joe joined the eToolLCD community in April 2015 and has completed two full LCAs to EN15978 standards.

This month we asked Joe the following two questions:

  • What does sustainable building mean to you?

Sustainable building means considering the ecological constraints set by a building’s location adhering to micro and macro ecological systems in the design and delivery of a building. It also focuses the design and selection of materials to be installed on a palette that promotes the health and wellbeing of occupants in order to support enhanced physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of those occupants. Sustainable building is considerate and responsible building that takes into account the impact construction will have on the occupants, local environment of the building site, broader community environment, and global ecological health and maximises the positive impact the building will deliver for each of those constituents.

  • What inspires you about life cycle design?
Life cycle design is all about increasing awareness. It provides an avenue for determining the end impact of a building from early on in the design process, allowing a project team to consider a building’s contribution to the environment while large changes are able to be made to building orientation, materials selection, building services and energy supply. It provides a scientific basis upon which to start conversations about the real impacts a building will have over its expected life and at end-of-life demolition. This gives the owner and project team the opportunity to mitigate impacts before work begins on site.

 

Announcement (1)

New eTool Subscription Package For Researchers

To accommodate the rapid uptake of eToolLCD amongst research organisations, eTool have recently released a new subscription package for researchers to enable them to maximise the value of their eToolLCD experience. This new subscription type is available only to individuals engaged within a research organisation as defined by InnoviSCOP.

If you are engaged by a commercial entity to conduct work of a commercial nature using eToolLCD, then this subscription will prove fantastic value. While it provides similar features and reduced certification fees as a “Consultant” subscriber, the monthly fee is waived for the first 12 months. 

Over the last five years eTool has been involved in delivering a number of university and tertiary education courses and projects. As a result of the rapid global uptake of LCD in the built form, we are in the process of developing a resource package designed for progressive organisations wanting to integrate Life Cycle Design into their teaching.

If you are interested, please contact us so we can ensure the resources contain the right content and structure to meet the needs of your curriculum.

We’re hoping to see this help research organisations get more involved in the delivery of LCD into the built form industry and grow the knowledge and experience of the next generation of building design professionals, policy makers and other industry stakeholders. To subscribe or to see more details and T&C’s, please see the subscription page.

dsquared-Ken

Featured User – Ken Long

We now have over 1,800 registered eToolLCD users across 61 different countries and we’d like to take a moment each month to celebrate some of our amazing users who are working towards a more sustainable future.

Our second featured user is Ken Long from dsquared Consulting. Ken joined the eToolLCD community in May 2015 and has completed one full LCA to EN15978 standards and is now working on his second.

This month we asked Ken the following two questions:

  • What does sustainable building mean to you?

I view sustainable buildings as an opportunity for humans to live, work and play in environments which actively benefits their personal health and the health of their local ecology. I view the creation of sustainable buildings as a very important piece towards lowering the impact of human societies on our environment, but also establishing environments which promote human well being. Professionally, sustainable buildings are also my opinion of best practice and showcase the pinnacle of design innovation and practicality.

  • What inspires you about life cycle design?
Life cycle analysis is able to enrich the design process, as it forces the design team to not only think about building operations, but also what the building is made from and where is the materials coming from. It adds another lens for project teams to evaluate the impact of the building on the environment. The LCA process also reinforces that a building does not only impact the site it sits on, but also has impacts far away from where it stands which must be thoroughly considered.

 

David Barr - Gen Y

LCA Reveals Carbon Savings For LandCorp’s Gen Y Winner

The ‘Step House’ by David Barr Architects is the winner of the LandCorp Gen Y competition for unique and sustainable residential dwelling design concepts that encapsulated the Generation Y lifestyle.

The  project is located within LandCorp’s White Gum Valley, an innovative residential development located 3km from the Fremantle city centre. David Barr Architects conducted a full eTool Life Cycle Assessment of the project, which helped to inform additional innovative sustainable design features.

Some of the features include the installation of a 9kw PV system, low embodied energy materials, energy efficiency measures and low water use. The carbon emissions per occupant per year is estimated at 64kg, which is 98% lower than the average equivalent Australian residence.

Read more about the Gen Y project here >>

 

Media_Release

City of Vincent Paves the Way for Sustainable Building Policy

Local council City of Vincent, sets a new standard for sustainable buildings through their progressive planning policy.

From plastic bag bans in City of Fremantle to Moreland City Council’s Bicycle Strategy to support more sustainable travel, local councils around Australia are making pledges towards more sustainable outcomes. In the realm of sustainable building however, the City of Vincent in Perth, Australia has quickly become the quiet achiever through a progressive planning policy.

The results of their policy are impressive, with the developments within their precinct reaching far beyond BAU (business as usual) and achieving significant performance outcomes. eTool alone has worked with developers to reduce over 215,000 tonnes of CO2e over the life of the buildings, which represents:

  • 29,054 Australian households’ annual energy use1
  • 59,722 Australian cars off the road for a year2
  • 1,290,000 trees planted3

A total solar PV system of all of the projects eTool has worked on under the City of Vincent requirements equals over 700 kW, which is helping the Australian grid to become less carbon intensive and also minimising the load on the network during the peak hours.

“The City of Vincent has always placed sustainability at the top of our priorities and our planning policy has provided us with the opportunity to encourage sustainable developments that have a positive outcome for the environment and the community. We’re very pleased with the outcomes of this policy and we look forward to continuing to push the bar even higher for building performance,” said John Carey, City of Vincent Mayor.

The City of Vincent’s planning policy requires assessment methodologies to clearly quantify sustainability performance against comparable benchmark buildings (compliant with the National Construction Codes of Australia), to comply with applicable Australian/international standards and be subject to oversight by a certifying body. This allows developers to choose a method for compliance, giving developers the opportunity to incorporate new design elements into their developments moving forward.

“We need assessment regimes that are performance based, rather than compliance based. This way we will unleash the creativity of designers, consultants, architects and engineers to devise new ways to make our buildings more sustainable. We need tools that will help make sophisticated whole of life cycle performance evaluation,” said Alannah MacTiernan, City of Vincent Mayor from 2011 to 2013.

The City currently accepts Life Cycle Design (LCD) methodology as one of the paths for achieving sustainable performance improvements. Progressive developers such as Psaros have embraced LCD and incorporated life cycle assessment into their BAU practices and marketing strategies across their multi-residential developments in Perth’s inner suburbs.

“We conduct a full life cycle assessment for each of our developments and we find that it adds value not only to the design process but also to our market value. Buyers are always interested to learn about the quality of the properties and we are seeing more and more that people want to invest in property with a sustainable ethos,” said Danny Psaros, CEO of Psaros Property Group.

Other developers such as Finbar, Builton, Handle Property Group and ABN Group have also taken advantage of using LCD to produce intelligent and quality designs that will provide a positive legacy for the city residents.

Damien Giudici, Development Manager at ABN Group said, “The process of using LCD was very informative and highlighted the best options in terms of dollars spent versus carbon savings, which guided us through our decisions to improve building environmental performance in the most cost effective manner.”

The City of Vincent’s planning policy is not only testament to the council’s forward thinking, but is also a prime example of how a policy can provide opportunities for the community, developers and consultants to work together with the Council and implement solutions that create direct and tangible benefits to the environment, the community and local residents.

“The uptake of LCD into a council such as the City of Vincent, demonstrates how LCD can be used to successfully define sustainable buildings in a precinct in a meaningful way. We’re excited to continue to see more developers, business and councils adopt Life Cycle Design as the most sustainable and logical thing to do,” said Henrique Mendonça, eTool Regional Business Development Manager.

From its humble beginnings, LCD is now the best practice tool to accelerate the environmental performance of buildings and has been adopted by developers, designers, consultants and green building certification schemes around the world. As councils around Australia reassess and update their policies, it is expected that more councils will follow in the footsteps of the City of Vincent, which will give rise to more genuinely sustainable and high performing buildings.

Notes

1 Residential benchmark – 7.4t/household/year.

2 Petrol, 10L/100km, 15000km annually

6 trees per tonne of CO2 saved, ref Carbon Neutral

 

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Media contact:

Portia Odell
eTool Marketing Communications Manager
+61 08 9467 1664
portia@etoolglobal.com
www.etoolglobal.com

About eTool

eTool is a world leading life cycle assessment and design consultancy that optimises building design for lower environmental impact and high performance. Utilising our unique software eToolLCD®, we work with architects, engineers and developers to measure and improve the life cycle impacts of buildings, surpassing industry standards. eToolLCD® makes sustainable development easy to achieve and cost-effective for all size projects, from residential and commercial building to land development and infrastructure.