LCA – More than just Breeam credits

Since being awarded IMPACT compliance in Christmas 2015 eTool now have many clients successfully using eTool on either a consulting basis or as LCA software providers.  With an IMPACT compliant LCA they can guarantee the two bonus LCA Materials credits in Breeam New Construction 2011/2014. These credits are awarded as a bonus to the Green Guide materials credits and awarded for completing an LCA and reporting on the results. 6+1 credits can also be achieved under Breeam Fit-out/Refurbishment/International, up to 23 credits in HQM and 3 under LEED.  Upcoming updates to Breeam 2018 will award up to 10 credits.  The LCA modelling can also be used for life cycle costing Man 2 credits, and Mat 06 Resource Efficiency.  The Bre are trying to encourage uptake in LCA and for the time being the credits can be applied at any stage of the design – effectively points for trying.

But! There is a lot more to LCA than just some easy credits.  We prefer the term Life Cycle Design (LCD) to describe the powerful methodology that utilises Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to model full environmental and cost impacts from cradle-to-cradle. Only when a complete picture of a buildings environmental performance over its life cycle is established  we truly know if we are making good design decisions. Benefits of incorporating an LCA approach into you project include:

  • Performance-based approach.  Which has the smaller impact, the nylon carpets shipped from overseas or the wool carpets locally sourced.  Only through quantifying the full impacts in terms of kgCO2e (or any other environmental indicator) can we truly understand.
  • Value engineering. The life cycle model will provide a plethora of design options for improving both the environmental and the cost performance of your asset ranging from zero to high capital cost. Only through quantifying the actual increases/reductions in CO2 and £ can the team prioirtise how to get the best value  from their design – achieving the greatest environmental gain for the smallest capital spend.
  • Innovation. LCA is growing in popularity as the most robust methodology for assessing buildings true environmental performance and represents the next level in sustainability reporting.
  • Approvals.  Certain councils are now giving credit to an LCA approach, sometimes in lieu of targeting costly and inappropriate energy targets (Barnet Council for example). LCA and embodied carbon are also regarded highly within the new London Plan.
  • Infrastructure. Within infrastructure there is a government mandate for HS2 to complete LCA analysis.  LCA also forms a very large part of the PAS2080 standard.

“A clear understanding of absolute impacts at aggregate and detail level is essential for identifying hotspots and exploring the real benefits of improvement opportunities. I highly recommend integrating eTool at earliest project stages to support systems thinking and inform decisions.” Patrick Jeannerat, Colliers International”

Below are just some of the clients who we have been working on LCAs with to date.  Although the primary motivation is often Breeam related, LCA is also providing some fantastic learning outcomes for design teams.



“We have been using eToolLCD for the last year and have completed 3 certified assessments.  This has enabled us to give our clients and design teams valuable information on the environmental impacts of design options as well as giving an additional 2% to the projects BREEAM assessment once the eToolLCD model has been certified.” David Barnes, Volker Fitzpatrick 

Aligned with international standards for LCA, Life Cycle Design is guarenteed to enhance the sustainability of your project regardless of your role, the type of project or what stage it’s at. Find out more about our recent projects here.



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