UDIA EnviroDevelopment Standards Embrace Life Cycle Assessment
The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) is the latest industry body to embrace life cycle assessment (LCA) in a move that aligns it with a growing global trend in the property industry.
LCA was introduced into the EnviroDevelopment National Technical Standards v2 released by the UDIA in March as an “alternative compliance” mechanism for quantifying the environmental performance of materials selected for a project.
Projects have the option of conducting an LCA in lieu of any of the Materials criteria specified under the six elements that comprise the Standards including ecosystems, waste, energy, materials, water and community.
The UDIA sought the expert advice of eTool Co-founder and Director Alex Bruce in the formulation of the LCA component of the EnviroDevelopment Standards which, importantly, complies with the international standards for LCA: EN15978 and ISO14044.
“eTool prides itself on innovation so we’ve been working hard to ensure our software is compliant with the international standards for LCA. It’s not an easy task which is probably why eTool is among only a handful of software solutions that enable reporting to these standards,” said Richard Haynes, eTool Co-founder and Software Development Director.
“It’s exciting to see another progressive industry body incorporating LCA into their standards for assessing the sustainability of buildings and infrastructure,” said Mr Bruce.
“It demonstrates a growing understanding of LCA’s power and effectiveness in understanding the environmental and economic impacts of the built form and indicates a shift towards performance-based sustainability outcomes.”
Used to best effect in the early phase of a project, LCA is a powerful design tool that provides reliable, quantifiable information to developers, builders and consultants looking for a cost-effective way to reduce a project’s environmental impact and create better, longer- lasting outcomes.
Brent Thomas, Chair of the National EnviroDevelopment Board of Management said: “Support from experts like Alex, who is a strong advocate for LCA and the delivery of sustainable communities and spaces, is essential in the progression of EnviroDevelopment and we are thankful for Alex’s contribution to and support of the program.’
“The new standards, and the alternative compliance mechanism, maintains EnviroDevelopment’s philosophy of setting performance based benchmarks, allowing individual project teams to determine the most appropriate sustainability initiative for the project, cognisant of site characteristics, climate and vision,” said Mr Thomas.
The interest in LCA has skyrocketed and it now has a presence in many of the world’s leading built form sustainability rating tools including LEED (US), BREEAM (UK) and Australia’s Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Green Star system.
eTool recently finished LCAs on three buildings in the high profile Kings Square project in Perth for developer Leighton Properties. They are expected to achieve their targeted 5-star Green Star ratings with the help of credits obtained through the LCA-based Innovation Challenge. The builders for Kings Square 2 and 4, Broad Construction Services, will use eTool LCA software to help achieve their Green Star rating target and also to meet the conditions for LEED certification required for Kings Square 2.
While eTool has been working extensively with builders and developers in the Green Star commercial and multi-residential space in recent times, eTool LCA software is as relevant and applicable to a broad range of other industry sectors including infrastructure, industrial and land development. Projects in these areas would similarly benefit from the detailed life cycle costing data and design information eTool LCA can produce, which enables informed and intelligent decisions to be made regarding the environmental and economic impacts of a project.
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eTool is a world leading life cycle software consultancy that optimises building design for lower environmental impact and high performance. Utilising our unique software eTool LCA®, we work with architects, engineers and developers to measure and improve the life cycle impacts of buildings, surpassing industry standards. eTool LCA® makes sustainable development easy to achieve and cost-effective for all size projects, from residential and commercial building to land development and infrastructure.
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