Ever since the early days of eTool back in 2012 we highlighted one of the risks to widespread LCA adoption is the varying levels of quality in building LCA models and subsequent loss in confidence of the results and conclusions drawn.
To mitigate this, as well as our free of charge eToolLCD training, eTool have also ingrained a formal certification process provided with any paid for eToolLCD Subscription and associated project access fee. ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 standards for LCA call for all studies to be verified by a third party, therefore it made sense for eTool to offer this certification service, as we understand the inner workings of the software which is important for LCA verification. This approach allows eTool to carefully manage the user experience enhancing the users LCA writing skills by assessing users ‘inputs, whilst ensuring quality and comparability.
During the certification process, a senior eTool LCD practitioner is made available to your project for the purposes of:
- Assisting the LCA team with completing the study in compliance with relevant standards and rating systems (we have now completed over 400 projects for BREEAM, LEED and Green Star so will ensure the model is completed to the correct requirements and no hold ups occur during the LCA credit verification).
- Providing credit for “3rd party verification” under BREEAM 2018.
- Reducing the risk to your clients and elevating the professionalism of your service by peer-reviewing your LCA study to ISO 14040 and ISO14044 standards.
- Assisting the LCA team with challenging concepts or modelling requirements.
- Improving the LCA teams efficiency in completing LCA/LCCs using eToolLCD.
- Providing the LCA team with potential strategies that may be worth considering to reduce the impact of the design.
The certifier will be “suitably qualified” to undertake peer reviews having as a minimum:
- Completed at least 3 paid for LCAs within the last 2 years
- eToolLCD advanced training course
- Experience or qualifications in interpreting construction documentation
The certification system ensures that consistent, high-quality LCA studies are produced from the eToolLCD software. This lends further credibility to your work when clients see the eTool brand on your reports. Outcomes after initial certification requests and interaction with a senior eTool LCD practitioner during third party review has seen a considerable difference in tCO2e saved.
For practiced users of eToolLCD, our certification system offers the benefit of a dedicated support section to complement existing experience. Utilising our certification system, users will benefit from a very quick third party review and subsequent certification, due to the level of quality input data.
The certification is provided for up to 6 designs within an eToolLCD Building or Infrastructure entity. These designs may be very early stage models, or later stage complete LCA/LCC models or a combination, typically:
- Concept Design Stage Base Model
- Concept Design Stage Improved Model(s) (including optioneering)
- Concept Design Stage Final Model
- Technical Design Stage Base Model
- Technical Design Stage Improved Model(s) (including optioneering)
- Technical Design Stage Final Model
eTool understands that good LCA/LCC modelling is an iterative process and will be on-hand from the outset to provide assistance and answer any questions surrounding the modelling and certification.
- eToolLCD user conducts self review and submits initial model for review
- eTool staff complete quality checks on eToolLCD model and provides feedback
- eToolLCD user complete / update eToolLCD model
- eToolLCD user submit final model for certification
- eTool staff completes certification and issue Certifier Review Statement
BREEAM Third Party Verification
In addition to ISO14040 and ISO 14044 quality checks the certifier will also review the following for both baseline models and optioneering models, in line with BREEAM 2018 requirements:
- Material quantities are within +-10% of those shown in design documentation (both concept and technical design stage models)
- Where default figures for product service life, transport distance and construction waste have been adapted from generic material default values, there is adequate justification and references.
- Adhesives are included if cover more than 20% of materials surface
- Study period of 60 years
The deliverables are as follows:
- eToolLCD Certifier Review Statement documenting checks made, comments and user responses using the certification checklist
- Phone/email and web link support throughout the process.
Additional information regarding eToolLCD Project Access Fees can be found here.