The default materials and energy LCI database is provided by Life Cycle Strategies and is made up of LCI processes form the following sources:

  • AusLCI: Where processes are available.
  • Australasian Database: Where AusLCI processes are not available
  • EcoInvent: Shadow database making up the minor flows for the processes in the above data sources.

This data is Australasian specific, and contains approximately 300 processes for materials, energy, transport, disposal and recycling.

As part of eTool’s IMPACT certification we also introduced BRE IMPACT data into eToolLCD.  This data is available for UK subscribers upon request and payment of the relevant project fee.

During 2016 and 2017 we are hoping to increase the background data sets available to eTool users.  The first additional data sets released will likely be European, US and New Zealand specific data sets.  Our aim is to have a very comprehensive selection of datasets that would give eToolLCD some additional sensitivity functionality (sensitivity to data sets could be tested).

In addition to the default data for material, EPDs data can be entered into eTool for further accuracy of your LCAs. Materials manufacturers interested in uploading their own data should contact eTool (it’s a free service, we just need compliant data).

Other Data Sets: eToolLCD will be introducing functionality to enable users to use alternative data sets.  We have successfully demonstrated this functionality in testing and are ironing out some difficulties / challenges to make sure this is user friendly and robust.  Watch this space!  

A note on BPIC LCI data: eTool are eagerly awaiting the full release of well documented cradle to gate LCI data from the BPIC LCI database. Unfortunately at present the database is mainly only populated with gate-to-gate information which, without significant additional manipulation, cannot be used by eTool in LCAs of buildings. The BPIC LCI also has some quite stringent protocols dictating the use of the data, once a comprehensive and full dataset becomes available the protocols will have to be met within eToolLCD, which will require some reprogramming. In other words, don’t hold your breath, BPIC LCI Data may take some time. This has prompted eTool to source an alternative Australian data set in the form of the Australasian Database currently available in SimaPro.

In relation to cost estimations, eTool has sought industry estimates for materials and energy consumption. This approach leads to significant under-estimation in the cost of highly processed goods (for example, the steel used for concrete reinforcing will cost a lot less than the steel used in a door handle, despite being of a very similar specification, the door handle has been value added significantly compared to the reinforcement. eToolLCD on the other hand will price these two uses of the same steel product equally).

Posted in: eToolLCD Methodology