Driving change in retail construction

Over the last few months, we’ve been working with conscientious building company Interface Constructions who really ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to marrying sustainability and the retail sector. With a strong environmental ethos driven by director Marc Masci, they are certainly leading the way, and to our knowledge are the first builders in Australia to offer carbon offset construction services to the retail industry.

Marc became interested in understanding the embodied carbon related to his work and has been using eTool LCA to measure all of his projects, both past and present. Since our first project with Marc, Interface have implemented a carbon management program and will be using eTool during the design phase to lower the carbon impact of his future retail projects.

Partnering with not for profit Carbon Neutral, Marc has already offset 20 tonnes with Australian native tree planting projects and will be featured as their Carbon Hero of the month in February.

For more information about Interface Constructions’ work with us, click here.


Embodied Energy Building Regulations: Yes or No?

We read this great report from the College of Architecture, Texas A&M University that reviews whether there is a need to put in place regulations to enforce measuring embodied energy in our buildings.
At eTool we think a ‘whole of house’ approach is extremely important to give you the bigger picture when measuring your environmental impact and thought you would enjoy reading this too!

Here is the abstract summary:

Buildings consume a vast amount of energy during the life cycle stages of construction, use and demolition. Total life cycle energy use in a building consists of two components: embodied and operational energy. Embodied energy is expended in the processes of building material production, on-site delivery, construction, maintenance, renovation and final demolition. Operational energy is consumed in operating the buildings. Studies have revealed the growing signicance of embodied energy inherent in buildings and have demonstrated its relationship to carbon emissions.

Current interpretations of embodied energy are quite unclear and vary greatly, and embodied energy databases suffer from the problems of variation and incomparability. Parameters differ and cause significant variation in reported embodied energy figures. Studies either followed the international Life CycleAssessment (LCA) standards or did not mention compliance with any standard. Literature states that the current LCA standards fail to provide complete guidance and do not address some important issues. It also recommends developing a set of standards to streamline the embodied energy calculation process.

This paper discusses parameters causing problems in embodied energy data and identifies unresolved issues in current LCA standards. We also recommend an approach to derive guidelines that could be developed into a globally accepted protocol.

Click here to read the full report.