eTool To Provide Life Cycle Assessment software to HS2

eTool have been engaged by HS2 to provide our market leading life cycle design software eToolLCD.

HS2 is Europe’s largest infrastructure project, designed to increase capacity on the UK’s railways and improve connectivity between eight out of 10 of Britain’s biggest cities, creating thousands of jobs and rebalancing our economy. It will run between London and Birmingham from 2026, extend to Crewe by 2027 and then link to Manchester and Leeds from 2033 with HS2 trains continuing to cities including Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In order to measure, reduce and report on carbon emissions, materials efficiency and wider embedded environmental impacts, HS2 have adopted a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. This modelling will include impact analysis across all life cycle stages from the extraction of raw materials through to processing, transport, use and disposal.  Using eToolLCD, the modelling will be conducted in accordance with applicable standards including BS EN ISO 14040, BS EN ISO 14044, BS EN 159783 and PAS 2080. The LCA modelling results will also be used to demonstrate achievement of credits within BREEAM Infrastructure.

eToolLCD was awarded its contract with HS2 after a thorough tendering process.  eTool also look forward to developing the eToolLCD further to complement HS2’s bespoke requirements, such as evaluating their innovative materials efficiency metric.

The tool will initially be used to develop baseline, against which design options can be assessed.  As the design progresses, HS2 subcontractors will take on LCA modelling tasks to further develop the models and identify further opportunities for improving the life cycle performance.  Through using eToolLCD’s unique enterprise functionality, multiple users can review and collaborate effectively on large complex LCA models, a feature that will enable this sequential and collaborative assessment.

How to complete an LCA for BREEAM 2018

life cycle design

From specific products to whole project analysis, LCA is taking off globally to help project teams quantify and improve environmental performance to meet global and national impact reduction targets.  BREEAM have recognised this and the new updates to BREEAM 2018 place a heavy emphasis on the LCA approach.

  • Up to 2 credits available for completing an LCA using IMPACT.  Credits awarded depend on performance against the Bre benchmarks.  Credit is awarded at Stage 4 once detailed design information is available
  • Up to 2.66 further credits available for Superstructure options appraisals during RIBA stage 2
  • Up to 1.33 further credits available for Superstructure options appraisals during RIBA stage 4
  • 1 credit available for substructure and landscaping options appraisal during RIBA Stage 2
  • 1 exemplary credit available for services options appraisal during RIBA stage 2
  • 1 exemplary credit for alignment with LCC
  • 1 exemplary credit “3rd party verification”

Understandably this is a big step change for many design teams used to the traditional Green Guide approach.  However, significant changes are enabling LCA to become common practice for designers, including:

  • newly available life cycle data,
  • user-friendly and cost-effective software platforms,
  • collaborative development of international standards and increased transparency,
  • integration with Life Cycle Costing for economic and environmental accounting
  • LCA legislation in planning policies, EIA and government incentives,
  • increasing uptake in academic research and universities curriculum
  • professional leadership and technical know-how;

The heavy weighting of credits for Stage 2 analysis encourages design teams to consider the life cycle impacts of their buildings at early design stages. (BREEAM require evidence for this to be submitted pre-planning). Applied at project concept stage, LCA provides insight and huge opportunities for life cycle environmental and cost improvements. Performance targets can be set during project preparation and brief, “what if” scenarios are used to assist design development and a detailed report will consolidate results according to project specifications. This “disruptive” practice in sustainable design will hopefully unlock the further potential to decarbonise buildings and infrastructure.

How an integrated design process for BREEAM 2018 works?

Riba graphic

 

LCA Stage 2: Often there will be limited information available at pre-planning and a limited appetite for spending money on LCA.  This is where eTools powerful template system comes into its own.  Our whole building LCA templates allow for quick, rough and ready LCA analysis.  With only basic information the template will fill the gaps using industry average defaults, this can be analysed for hotspots and design options and updated with project specifics as the design progresses through to Stage 4.

Benchmarking:  Although the benchmarking credits do not need to be submitted until Stage 4 the benchmarking report is fully automated from eTool.  So the number of likely benchmarking credits can be analysed early on and design options can be prioritised based on what provides the greatest uplift.

LCC Alignment: Aligning the LCA and LCC is of vital importance for effective LCA work. Quantifying the costs of improvements will help teams prioritise how to get the best environmental gain for least capital spent. With our recent cost functionality, it is a simple step to extract LCC results from your LCA model and report for the Man2 credits. Simply ensure you report the same options in your LCA submission as you do in your LCC reporting.

Substructure and Landscaping:  Our templates system covers all of these elements and they can be added to the model with basic information (eg depth and width of piles or area of macadam road).

Services: Services require a separate model because the Bre IMPACT data cannot currently be used to model services.  We are currently working on alternative datasets that will do this.

3rd Party:  Our certification service is provided to all users projects completed commercially as part of our standard software offering. During the certification process, a senior eTool LCA practitioner is made available to the project and will undertake all quality checks defined in BREEAM.

For further detail on how to run reports for Breeam 2018 from eTool please see our support video here.

To continue supporting this process, eTool have released the eToolLCD Enterprise subscription. Embedding LCA at an organisation level has become easier and will provide added value with centralised ownership of LCA models, inter-company collaboration for integrated design and an unrestricted number of read-only users. 

Designers that have increased demand for LCA services can choose the new Specialist subscription to work on an unlimited number of projects with a fixed software cost.

We are working hard to continue bringing innovative solutions and we are improving eTooLCD with additional life cycle inventories, enhanced Life Cycle Costing functionality and many others that you can check out by creating your account at eToolLCD.

eTool have produced a number of different articles on integrated design using LCA including latest materials comparison, reporting efficiency and additional revenue by selling LCA services. Help us by sharing with friends and colleagues.

Want to learn more?  Please register for our next webinar event

We hope this article was useful, stay in touch!

 

How to ingrain LCA into your design process

life cycle design

A safe environment for future generations is being designed with the increasing use of Life Cycle Assessment. From specific products to whole project analysis, LCA is taking of globally to help project teams quantify and improve environmental performance to meet global and national impact reduction targets.

Significant changes are enabling LCA to become common practice for designers, including:

  • newly available life cycle data,
  • greater importance given to LCA in green building and infrastructure rating systems (LEED, BREEAM and Green Star),
  • user friendly and cost effective softwares,
  • collaborative development of international standards and increased transparency,
  • integration with Life Cycle Costing for economic and environmental accounting
  • LCA legislation in planning policies and government incentives,
  • increasing uptake in academic research and universities curriculum
  • professional leadership and technical knowhow;

Applied at project concept stage, LCA provides so much insight and huge opportunities for life cycle environmental and cost improvements. Performance targets can be set during project preparation and brief, “what if” scenarios are used to assist design development and a detailed report will consolidate results according to project specifications. This “disruptive” practice in sustainable design is unlocking great potential to decarbonise buildings and infrastructure.

How an integrated design process using LCA looks like?

Project Stage and LCA Processes(1)

Life Cycle Design is gaining greater recognition in Green Building and Infrastructure rating systems. Early engagement of LCA consultants will identify impact hot spots and help prioritise improvement strategies that are most cost effective. LCA credits may be easier to achieve as a result of engaging early. 

To continue supporting this process, eTool have just released the eToolLCD Enterprise subscription. Embedding LCA at an organisation level has become easier and will provide added value with centralised ownership of LCA models, inter-company collaboration for integrated design and unrestricted number of read-only users. 

Designers that have increasing demand for LCA services can choose the new Specialist subscription to work on unlimited number of projects with a fixed software cost.

We are working hard to continue bringing innovative solutions and we are improving eTooLCD with additional life cycle inventories, enhanced Life Cycle Costing functionality and many others that you can check out by creating your account at eToolLCD.

eTool have produced a number of different articles on integrated design using LCA including latest materials comparison, reporting efficiency and additional revenue by selling LCA services. Help us by sharing with friends and colleagues.

We hope this article was useful, stay in touch!

 

LCA for Infrastructure projects

After completing the LCAs for Brookfield Multiplex on the New Perth Stadium, for LendLease on the Waterbank – Infrastructure and Public Domain Area (IPD), and currently working on the NorthLink WA Southern Section with John Holland, eTool is excited to share with you how LCA can be used for Infrastructure project.

On this video recorded during our last webinar, LCD Engineer and Business Development Manager Henrique Mendonca shows why Life Cycle Design adds value to an infrastructure design process and how it can be done using eToolLCD software. It also provides an overview of potential IS credits (Infrastructure Sustainability) using Life Cycle Assessment by integrating materials, energy, water, waste, management and innovation in a single LCA model.

 

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Design Civil Structures with eTool LCA

When we created eTool LCA, our aim was to reduce the global carbon footprint through the built form.
Initially we thought about buildings; residential, commercial and community based structures that would benefit from using a design life tool from conception to build to use. But this only gives us half the picture.

With eTool LCA we can look at all type of built forms including civil structures such as roads, bridges and dams. These types of vital infrastructure use energy through materials, transport, assembly and recurring maintenance just the same as traditional buildings, so it’s important that we account for them as well.

Watch our short video showing you how to build a road…

Using eTool LCA’s custom template feature, you can easily input the exact specifications of any structure, in the case of a road, we included the width, length and a combination of materials.
Once you’ve created an example template, you can add as many as you like and compare the environmental and cost implications across a number of variables to help with the decision process.

This LCA was based on an average 1km asphalt road with the following building specifications –

Floor Area: 1000m2
Floor Width: 500mm

Sign up to eTool LCA today and give it a go or contact us to order an assessment.

“Shout It Out” Abstract

“Zero carbon building development is easy… with the right planning”

The built form is responsible for approximately 30% to 50% of Australia’s total carbon footprint.

Globally and now in Australia there are many examples of buildings that produce more energy than they consume and are theoretically “zero emission” buildings. These range from everyday mums and dads with standard 4×2 houses through to high rise commercial buildings. We now have the technology to be energy efficient and produce renewable energy at a cost effective rate to offset the buildings “operational energy”.

The largest component of a buildings carbon footprint is fast becoming “embodied energy” – the energy used to manufacture the materials, transport, assemble and then maintain them. The best way to reduce this embodied energy impact is through intelligent planning.

Plan for the future – the average Australian residential building is lucky to get much past its 50th birthday. The single biggest reason for a building to be knocked down in Australia is for redevelopment.

Plan for functionality – in the past 20 years our houses have grown in size by 40% while occupancy has dropped by 10%.

Intelligent planning ensures buildings last longer while increasing their functionality. The great news is once you are able to quantify these impacts (which eTool LCA can) it’s pretty easy to get the planning right.