eToolLCD workflow

If you’re wondering how to complete your LCA models using eToolLCD you have landed on the right place. This is a basic step by step process to start a model from scratch all the way through to certification. There will be variances depending on the project type you’re modelling and the purpose of the LCA but we hope this provides a good initial guidance. You can always check the example projects in your account to compare the scope and make sure you’ve added all required project info.



  1. Create a project, structure and you base design (to be used as reference for comparative LCA process).
  2. Insert project information using the “Details” tab.  Be sure to use the ‘Compare Benchmark’ – eTool have created a number of Benchmark buildings; including a Residential and Office type. Comparing your design to those Benchmarks will highlight any major gaps in your Life cycle inventory.
  3. Include templates from library or customise your own templates. Make sure you customise templates in the library first, before you load them into your models.
  4. Compare the scope of your Design with the example projects and the Benchmark designs (which you can see in the eTool Library). You can also use the Construction Scope and Energy and Water Scope which are on the Project details as a checklist of items to consider in the data collection phase of your life cycle assessment.
  5. Run the Top Impacts reports – check that the usual suspects and expected items are on the list.
  6. Compare the total impacts of each building Category (Substructure, Superstructure etc) against the Benchmark – (blue bars versus grey bars)
  7. Submit your Base design  for Certification by the eTool team. This is quality assurance service and an LCA mentoring process
  8. Clone your Certified Base design to create a LCA – Scenario, often called your Improved design.
  9. Identify the strategies to reduce the Top Impacts – use the Recommendations tab to document these design improvement strategies.
  10. Implement design improvements using the “Recommendations” tab and other features like bulk swap. Make sure you record the changes so they can be automatically populated in your reports.
  11. Generate the reports automatically from the software and present to your clients:
    • Target Setting Study (preliminary design advice)
    • Design Feedback Report (design development stage)
    • Environmental Infographics (Useful for marketing and communicating to layperson)
  12. Clone the improved design into a final design and implement all confirmed design improvements.
  13. Submit final design for certification with eTool.
  14. Generate reports from Certified Final design
    • Emissions certificate
    • Infographics
    • Life cycle inventory
  15. Get out there and be proud of achieving a genuinely sustainable design outcome!

Commercial Building Inputs

Coming soon!  If you’re busting for information on any of the following topics, please let us know in the comments below so we can prioritise the next tutorial videos.

  • Heating, Cooling and Ventilation Systems: With the advanced templates and expressions functionality of  Version 2 eTool now gives uses much greater functionality for estimating operational energy loads.  Whilst eTool will never be a self contained thermal performances modelling tool, the output of such tools can now be used to estimate carbon emissions associated with different heating and cooling systems, on different grids and using different fuel sources.
  • Lighting: Use the eTool templates wizard to estimate the environmental burdens associated with different lighting systems.
  • Generic Tenancy Templates: Select from a number of pre-defined tenancy templates that estimate the energy loads of the space based on industry average figures.

Example: Custom Road Template

This video shows you how to build custom templates so that you can add in bespoke elements to your LCA such as transport. We have used a road as an example to show you how eTool LCA can be used to analyse and compare civil structures or infrastructure.

Solar System Scenarios

Life Cycle cost and sustainability affect of adding a solar system to a residential house.

Run An LCA Report

Once you’ve compared and improved your design, watch this video to show you how to generate your LCA results report which compares your design against an industry benchmark.

Improve Your Design

The most important part of using eTool – reducing the environmental impact of your design!!!  It’s also a very easy process, once you know where the hotspots are it’s very easy to make positive changes.  Once you’ve completed your design, watch this video to see how you can improve your original design by swapping materials or adding renewable energy systems for example.

Certify Your Design

Once you’ve completed and refined your design, watch this video to understand the certification process and how to have your designed assessed by and eTool engineer.

Check Your Design

Once you’ve finished populating your design, this video will tell you how to check that you’ve included everything you need in the design by generating a completion report. Before using this report, you may want to watch the Operational Energy Wizard video to check you’ve input your operational energy information correctly.

Add & Edit Templates

In this video, we show you how to use the template wizard and start populating your design including walls, internal finish, materials and assembly.