British and Australian Sustainability Leaders Join Forces to Promote Low Carbon Building in UK

International leaders in sustainability are collaborating to utilise a new software tool that aims to revolutionise the way green buildings are designed, constructed and operated.

London based architecture firm HTA and sustainability social enterprise BioRegional – the pioneers behind the One Planet Living framework – today announced a new partnership with Australian environmental software developers eTool. The collaboration of architects, sustainability campaigners and environmental engineers into multi-disciplinary teams is fast becoming commonplace, with the new ‘business as usual’ putting the client and planet firmly at the top of the list.

Our One Planet Living framework is spreading around the globe, so it was natural for us to team up with leading innovators overseas like eTool that we can work with here in the UK and internationally. Improving quality of life at the same time as reducing our carbon footprint is part of everything we do, so to be able to accurately measure the impact of our development projects with LCA is an important step in learning the lessons, applying them to new projects and sharing them with others.”
– 
Pooran Desai – Co-Founder, BioRegional

The partnership will bring together diverse skills and knowledge of sustainable technologies and design solutions that have already proven successful in reducing the carbon footprint of buildings across Australia. Senior staff from both HTA and BioRegional will be trained to use eTool LCA, a web based Life Cycle Assessment tool that measures embodied and operational carbon, water, energy and cost of a whole building through its entire design life.

“It’s fantastic to work with companies that are as passionate as we are about what they do and are raising the bar in sustainable building in the UK. We’re extremely excited that eTool LCA will soon be integrated into projects overseas and demonstrate that low carbon design is achievable in all climates and regions, regardless of the weather or building style.”Alex Bruce – Director, eTool

With the government’s ambitious zero carbon 2016 target quickly approaching, newly accessible technologies such as whole building life cycle assessment represent a unique opportunity to reduce carbon impacts on a huge scale within a short period.

 “At HTA we try to be more than the sum of our many parts, bringing architecture, sustainability, and landscape disciplines together to produce high-quality sustainable places. We are delighted to be collaborating with eTool and BioRegional to extend our expertise into life-cycle assessment. We are keen to know more about the life-cycle impact of our buildings today which will influence the way we work tomorrow.” Rory Bergin – Head of Sustainability & Innovation, HTA

Bioregional’s award winning OneBrighton project will be showcased at EcoBuild 2013 in March and final eTool LCA results will be launched at the Eco Technology Show in June.

 

About eTool

eTool is a world leading life cycle software company that optimises building design for lower environmental impact and greater performance. Utilising their unique software eTool LCA®, they work with architects, engineers and developers to measure and improve the life cycle impacts of buildings, surpassing industry standards. From residential and commercial to development and infrastructure, eTool LCA® makes sustainable development easy to achieve and cost effective for all size projects.

 

Media Contact
Siobhan McGurrin
Marketing & Communications Manager
+61 (0) 8 6364 3805
Siobhan@etool.net.au

Josh’s House Episode Two

 

Construction of Josh’s House is now underway and in this episode Josh gets excited about the dual plumbing and grey water systems that are being installed. The team also speak to Ed Hauck from the WA Department of Water and catch up with Josh’s family Kellie, Lisa, Ollie and Caitlin.

 

Project of the Year 2012

We’ve had some fantastic projects over the last year and picking a winner has been a really difficult task. But pick a winner we must, so here goes…
eTool’s Project of the Year 2012 is the Sustainability Learning Centre!

Sustainbility Learning Centre

 

The first of its kind in Australia, this low carbon education centre ‘walks the talk’ in all aspects of its design and will soon be taking their pledge even further as they plan to make the building zero carbon in 2013. We’ve been truly inspired by some of the design ideas, features and commitment to using local and recycled materials wherever possible in the design, as Rich highlights…

“The Sustainability Learning Centre is one of the most inspirational and innovative projects we’ve worked on. The reuse of materials, local sourcing and clever mix of bio fuel heating and solar PV lowered the overall carbon footprint to almost zero. A great outcome for everyone involved and the perfect case study for showing how we could be designing buildings throughout Australia,” Rich Haynes.

So a huge congratulations to everyone involved in the project including Morrison & Breytenbach ArchitectsGreening Australia, the Tasmanian Department of Education, CSIRO Education, Independent Schools Association of TasmaniaTasmanian Catholic Education Office and Clinka, who have worked very hard over the last three years to get this wonderful project off the ground!

To find out more about our assessment of the design, take a look at the detailed case study here.

eTool Announces Partnership with 1% for the Planet

eTool, the market leader in life cycle assessment software for the built environment today joined 1% for the Planet, pledging to donate 1% of annual sales to support non-profit organizations focused on lowering carbon emissions and environmental conservation and sustainability.

 

“By motivating sustainable change in the way we design and build, we’ve helped create low carbon buildings across Australia, so committing to 1% for the Planet and protecting the environment was a natural step for us. The real heroes of course are the likes of Yvonne and Craig who started 1% for the Planet and motivated people like us to rise to the challenge” says eTool co-founder/director Richard Haynes.
“Signing on to 1% for the Planet shows eTool has a strong commitment to investing in sustainability efforts,” says Terry Kellogg, CEO of One Percent for the Planet. “They’re using business as a tool to engage and motivate their stakeholders while partnering with environmental organizations that complement their brand. We’re excited to welcome eTool to our global network.”
From December 2012, eTool will join 29 leading Australian businesses in donating at least 1% of their revenue to environmental non-profits. As Haynes explains, “our donation demonstrates that even small companies just starting out can share their success, give back to the community and protect the planet at the same time.”
Over the last year, eTool has helped residential and commercial developers substantially lower the carbon footprint of their buildings with over 40 construction projects assessed to date. Each design is also analysed by eTool’s team of engineers for improvements, which are then calculated into CO2 reductions and given to the clients. So far, nearly 17,000 tonnes of CO2 reductions have been identified through eTool’s design recommendations, with the majority already implemented or committed to.
“We’re stoked at the numbers, as it’s equivalent to the annual emissions of over 500 Australians! For a start up organisation with only four full time staff, we’re already having a pretty big impact and plan to push it even further next year,” says Haynes.
For 2013, the company has set a target of helping their clients reduce their building’s carbon emissions by at least 150,000 tonnes. With interest from the US and EU growing and high profile sustainable projects such as BioRegional’s 5X4 project in Melbourne welcoming their input, eTool are proof that Australian innovation can lead to environmental change and industry success even during an economic downturn.
Members of 1% for the Planet contribute one percent of annual sales directly to any of the approved non-profit environmental organizations in the network.  Non-profits are approved based on referrals, track record and sustainability focus. Over 2,900 non-profits worldwide are currently approved.
“As we near our 10th anniversary we’re celebrating that our members have contributed nearly $100 million of critically needed funds,” comments Kellogg. “The understanding that brands can succeed financially by investing in the environment is clearly apparent, and consumer demand is driving a lot of this success. The average annual revenue growth of the companies in the 1% for the Planet network from 2008 to 2011 was over 50%, even though the overall economy has been struggling. There’s a paradigm shift happening here and we’re thrilled that so many innovative businesses are sling-shotting the movement in to high gear.”

About 1% for the Planet

Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, 1% for the Planet is a platform of credibility and engagement for environmentally conscious brands that are truly committed to making a positive impact with their business. This growing global movement of over 1,400 member companies in 45 countries donate one percent of annual sales to environmental organizations worldwide. To learn more go to: www.onepercentfortheplanet.org.

About eTool

eTool is a world leading life cycle software company that optimises building design for lower environmental impact and greater performance. Utilising their unique software eTool LCA®, they work with architects, engineers and developers to measure and improve the life cycle impacts of buildings, surpassing industry standards. From residential and commercial to development and infrastructure, eTool LCA® makes sustainable development easy to achieve and cost effective for all size projects.

 

Media Contact
Siobhan McGurrin
Marketing & Communications Manager
+61 (0) 8 6364 3805
Siobhan@etool.net.au

Passing LCA onto the next generation

Over the last few months, we’ve been working with universities across Australia to incorporate LCA building design philosophy into their architecture and engineering courses. Compared to just five years ago when LCA for the built environment would have constituted an entire PhD, now classes as big as 60 undergraduate students are completing eTool LCAs on their designs in just 2 weeks and getting great low carbon results!

“I taught eTool LCA to third year Arhictecture students at UniSA this semester for the first time. I found they picked it up easily and were able to perform a comprehensive LCA on a building and then use eTool LCA to substantially reduce the embodied and operational carbon footprint. I will certainly be using eTool LCA in future courses.” 

Brett Aylen, Director TS4 Architecture and Lecturer at UniSA

In 2012, four universities taught eTool LCA in a range of courses with over 200 students across Australia and Southeast Asia actively using the software.

Another institute we’ve been working with for a while is Murdoch University which teaches an ‘Energy Efficient Buildings’ unit to undergraduates and postgraduates. It examines different approaches to reducing energy consumption in residential and commercial buildings resulting from the design and use of the building and its energy services.

Lecturer Dr.Tania Urmee has been teaching the course for a number of years and encourages her students to use new technology and software to evaluate, modify and design energy efficient buildings more effectively. Students in both Australia and Malaysia are introduced to the principles of solar passive design, and taught to use ECOTECT and eTool LCA as practical solutions for reducing energy use through renovation and retrofitting as well as occupant behaviour.

 

Josh’s House Episode One

Introducing Josh’s House, a project and video series following the design and construction of two 10 star energy efficient family homes in the Fremantle suburb of Hilton, Western Australia with Josh Byrne environmental scientist & presenter on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia, his young family and sister in law.
This first episode explains the plan and what work has been done up to this point as well as introducing Josh and his family. It’s going to be a comprehensive and exciting project and you are all invited along for the ride with plenty of info, thoughts and ideas being made available to you via Josh’s House website, facebook, twitter and video. We encourage you to be a part of it!

Market leader releases cutting edge life cycle assessment software ahead of industry competitors

Australian based life cycle assessment software developers eTool have today announced the release of eTool LCA version two: the world’s most advanced, freely accessible, streamline LCA software tool for the built environment.

“We are very proud to be releasing our latest software development to the construction industry. Our key motivation when we started was to reduce global greenhouse gas emission, and as buildings account for 30-40% of anthropogenic greenhouse emissions there was a lot of room for improvement. With eTool LCA, not only can designers reduce the CO2 footprint of their buildings but using our integrated life cycle cost analysis they can also reduce the costs of their building design too. It’s a win-win for the environment and the economy!” 

Richard Haynes, Product Development Manager and Co-Founder.

With more than 100 innovative new features and improvements on the first online prototype, eTool LCA V2 includes:

  • Life cycle costing, financial performance reporting and comparison charts to highlight maintenance and operational cost benefits or excesses. Track your return on investment and expenditure over the design life of the building.
  • New environmental impact categories/intensities, now tracking life cycle Global Warming, Cost, Fossil Fuel Consumption, Water Use, Land Use, Ozone Depletion, Acidification and Human Toxicity.
  • International electricity grids, with over 24 additional grids covering the US, EU and AU.
  • Annual energy cost summary, calculate a building’s energy expenses by year for greater understanding of operating costs.
  • Better materials categorisation, and over 50 new materials have been added to make selection easier and new functionality enables material manufacturers to submit their own materials for listing.
  • Basic default costs for all materials, equipment, grids and energy sources are now available and LCA cost estimation from simply entering quantities of materials, equipment run time and operational energy.
  • An improved user interface including the redesign of key screens and popups.
  • “Nested” templates for greater speed and accuracy in producing a library of readily accessible templates.
  • Ability to clone LCA models and share with other users; great for advanced users interacting with multi-disciplinary teams, liaising with clients and seeking feedback from eTool certifiers.
  • Greater transparent and editable distance calculations for local materials.
  • Expression builder for selected fields: build a template for operational energy that takes the number of occupants and fully enclosed building area into consideration to calculate your energy demand.
  • Enhanced calculations and coefficients for greater accuracy.
  • Regional Life Cycle Environmental and Cost Inventories: this exciting new feature has successfully passed functionality tests and regional datasets are now being collating ready for implementation into the software.

Additional features in eTool LCA coming soon include more reporting options on all environmental impact categories; amended user interface for easier navigation; additional options to customise grids, materials, costs and transport and a software user forum for feedback and support.

Pricing

eTool LCA V2 is now available to use online through the eTool LCA app website. Individuals wanting to use the software for personal use can register for free and access all the new functionality and majority of features. Advanced user subscriptions for commercial use are also now available and range from Assessor Lite and Pro to Certifier and Regional Partner. Packages are tailored to the individual or organisation size and prices start from $2,000 for comprehensive training and project certification. Subscriptions can be purchased internationally and advanced users will receive either in-house or online training and support from the eTool team of engineers and architects.

 

About eTool

eTool is a world leading life cycle software company that optimises building design for lower environmental impact and greater performance. Utilising their unique software eTool LCA®, they work with architects, engineers and developers to measure and improve the life cycle impacts of buildings, surpassing industry standards. From residential and commercial to development and infrastructure, eTool LCA® makes sustainable development easy to achieve and cost effective for all size projects.

 

Media Contact
Siobhan McGurrin
Marketing & Communications Manager
+61 (0) 8 6364 3805
Siobhan@etool.net.au

Vote for eTool in GE’s Ecomagination Challenge

GE’s Ecomagination are looking for breakthrough ideas, technologies and innovations to help lower ANZ’s carbon footprint. They launched a competition back in August to search for the brightest ideas and there are only a few days left with the deadline closing in fast this Friday.

We’ve added our LCA software into the mix and would love your support!

All you have to do it head over the website here, log in via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn (only takes a second) and then hit the ‘I support this idea’ button. If you’re feeling inspired, leave a comment about our LCA and how you think it can help lower ANZ’s carbon impact!

eTool LCA Product Development Roadmap

Over the last 3 years, we’ve been innovating and developing our LCA software to meet our commitment to combating climate change through low carbon building design. As well as adding new environmental indicators and cost impacts, we’ve made the interface more user friendly and are working hard to keep adding more international data and locations for our growing global user base.

In this video, Rich our Product Development & Operations Manager takes you on the journey of where we see eTool and eTool LCA heading. We know that our software is pretty unique and has been evaluated as one of the best carbon measurement tools in the world by sustainability academics, but that doesn’t mean we’re resting on our laurels!

We want you to understand our future vision of LCA and see the key player it will be in the green building revolution that we’re embarking on.

Watch this…

Zoom in and out for more detail here

 

Award Winning Stevens Street

2012 has definitely been Steven Street’s year!
Finishing in early 2012, the luxury zero carbon development in Fremantle received both national and international recognition for its refreshing approach to adaptive reuse of materials throughout the building design and construction.

Since being awarded The Walter Greenham Sustainable Architecture Award by the WA Chapter of AIA in July, the praise has been thick and fast. The AIA jury said the development “brings design excellence and sustainable architecture together in a cohesive and seamless demonstration of environmental, social and technological innovation” and commented on its rigorous environmental design initiatives.

The project was also recognised as an “outstanding example” of increasing density within a tight suburban site and took out The Harold Krantz Award for Multiple Residential in WA as well as receiving a national commendation at the AIA awards on 1st November.

The most recent accolade came earlier this month, as Steven St triumphed once again over fierce competition including Monash University Student Housing and Lochiel Park Apartments to take out BPN’s sustainability award for Multi-Density Residential 2012. The judges said: “making intelligent use of rammed recycled rubble as mass, the onsite recycling and adaptive reuse of materials represents genuine innovation. It’s an effort well beyond the norm. The use of an eTool assessment is to be commended; the solar orientation is excellent; and the project cost is impressive. “

To find out more about this environmentally innovative and architecturally stunning development by EarthCare, take a look at a detailed project overview here.

Images by Robert Frith – Acorn