10 Things to Consider in a Construction LCA Software
Choosing the right construction LCA software to achieve your sustainability goals
This article discusses business and technical criteria to consider for choosing LCA software, including the coverage and robustness of the database, compliance with legal requirements and standards, scalability, global and country-specific solutions, onboarding and support, data import and integrations, security, capability and ease of use.
LCA is becoming mission-critical for the construction industry as clients demand for sustainable facilities increases. However, choosing an LCA software can be difficult, with many factors to consider, such as software features, supplier capabilities, and cost. This article discusses ten things to consider when making your choice.
Does the construction LCA software align with your business needs?
The key features to look for in a construction LCA software include compliance with both global and regional LCA regulations, standards or certifications, compatibility with popular design tools (such as Revit, Rhinoceros, ArchiCAD and others) and access to reliable Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and LCA data.
While choosing software, it is also essential to consider the phases and types of the construction project, as this can set specific requirements for LCA database coverage.
Can construction LCA software drive business expansion?
A sustainability strategy can drive growth opportunities. LCA can be used to identify opportunities to improve the sustainability of your products and services, which can help your business differentiate itself from the competition and attract new customers. LCA can also be used to develop more sustainable products and services, which can help businesses reduce their environmental impact.
LCA, when performed early in the design process results in the highest carbon reductions and lowest costs. This is because the design team has more flexibility to make changes that will have a significant impact on the project’s sustainability. As a construction the project progresses, the ability to reduce carbon decreases drastically.
Does the software facilitate user training and understanding?
Considering the software users’ needs is a pivotal factor when selecting LCA software. Select software that caters to both beginners and experts. It is also important to train users on how to use the software-both internally or externally. Training not only direct users but also others involved in a project can boost overall sustainability understanding across your organisation.
Does the software comply with local and international standards, regulations and certifications?
When choosing construction LCA software, it is important to ensure that it complies with all applicable legal requirements, standards, and certifications. Opt for software that offers compliance with local and international requirements, such as EN 15978 and Level(s) within the EU, as well as commercial certifications such as LEED och BREEAM. Ensure the software aligns with all essential regulations and standards. Failing to do so can put you at a competitive disadvantage.
How comprehensive and reliable is the software’s LCA database?
LCA data is essential for accurate LCAs. Opt for software with comprehensive and high-quality LCA data- including EPDs, national governmental databases, and a broad range of other data for different products at consistent quality. A comprehensive database is crucial for making informed comparisons between materials and suppliers.
It is also important to make sure that the software is an authorised reseller of commercially licensed databases. This ensures you have the right to use the databases included in the tool.
Can the construction LCA software assess carbon early in the design process?
Decisions made during early phases of the project have maximum impacts on carbon and cost savings. However, building information modeling (BIM) models and bills of quantities are not available at this stage of the project. As a result, a specialised early design LCA solution is needed to create a project baseline, identify hotspots, and develop design options. Choose software that offers specialised LCA solutions for early design stages, enabling you to reach your decarbonisation goals.
How well does the construction LCA software integrate with your design tools?
Integration capabilities are critical. Most construction professionals use design tools to create Building Information Models (BIMs) throughout the project phases. Aim for software that seamlessly intergrates with your existing design tools, promoting efficiency.
Is the software adapted to multi-regional business demands?
For global businesses, it is wise to opt for software that supports multiple languages to simplify tool management. Moreover, construction standards and practices, as well as LCA data, vary by country – having appropriate sets of construction and LCA data libraries and the respective local norms helps you.
One Click LCA software is available in 10 languages-including English, Finnish, French, German, Norwegian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Italian and Japanese.
Can the software address net zero, circularity, and other sustainability goals?
Most often, you need to go beyond basic reporting with software that enables in-depth result analysis. Choose software that offers features like comparisons, benchmarking, hotspot analysis, and other advanced functionalities that provide meaningful and actionable insights into your sustainability initiatives.
Is the construction LCA software both secure and scalable?
Cybersecurity and personal data compliance are non-negotiable. They safeguard not only your information but also your customers’ business details. When selecting a platform, evaluate its capacity to evolve with your sustainability goals.
Selecting the right LCA software is an important step toward achieving your company’s sustainability goals. By considering the factors outlined in this guide, you can confidently make an informed decision that aligns with your businesses’ unique needs and aspirations. Remember, a well-chosen LCA software isn’t just a tool—it’s a strategic investment in the future of your company and our planet.
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