Read our Building Life-Cycle Assessment Whitepaper

Find out why LCAs are an essential part of the construction process

State of the Art in Building Life-Cycle Assessment — Whitepaper

 

Goodbye to complexity! Bionova’s new Whitepaper – State of the Art in Building Life-Cycle Assessment: One Click LCA – shows True North of environmental performance of construction projects as well as describes why Life-cycle Assessments (LCAs) are essential and important part of the construction and land sales projects. And how the process can be stripped down of its complexities. Topics include:

  • True North of environmental performance for construction projects
  • Getting reliable results in one hour instead of days or even weeks
  • LCA is an essential component of all leading green certification schemes and helps to get higher ratings
  • LCA is a powerful tool for public sustainability policy in construction, land sales and competitions
  • Quality LCA from real-world imperfect Building Information Models

 

Life-cycle assessment is a vital tool for achieving sustainable buildings – and now it takes just one hour

 

  • One Click LCA enables getting reliable results in one hour instead of several days or even weeks
  • LCA is an essential component of leading green certification schemes and gets higher ratings
  • LCA is a powerful tool for public sustainability policy in construction, land sales and competitions
  • One Click LCA achieves quality LCA from real-world imperfect Building Information Models
  • Do you have an hour for LCA? Join a free webinar for a demo, or try it out on your next project!

 

True North of environmental performance for construction projects with life-cycle assessment

 

Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool for measuring the environmental impacts of a construction project. It provides a reliable picture of the life-cycle environmental impact using numeric indicators. The most commonly known of these is the Global Warming Potential, known as the (life-cycle) carbon footprint.

Would you rather have a low-carbon materials building, a low energy building, or one relatively good in both – or the best overall? LCA gives a holistic view of impacts of a project, and is not just looking at materials, energy or waste handling – it measures the total impact and avoids sub-optimization. Moreover, as buildings are long-lived assets, a long term perspective is required. LCA provides this by definition.

LCA is a science-based, objective, standardized and technology neutral metric –which makes it very useful for regulators and rating schemes. Standards from the CEN/TC 350 provide common rules for building LCA.

However, green certification schemes can’t address all buildings due to their cost. LCA helps evaluate and improve all kinds of buildings, to achieve better performance environmentally and financially. This makes LCA a great tool for non-certified projects desiring to achieve better environmental performance.

 

One Click LCA enables getting reliable results in one hour instead of several days or even weeks

 

In spite of the benefits of LCA, adoption has been hindered by its complexity. Doing an LCA for a construction project used to require lots of expertise, expensive software, and tedious and complex modelling and data collection. The time spent on the project, including data gathering, has ranged from days to several weeks.

The innovative One Click LCA software reduces the time spent on LCA to just one hour, a hundredfold improvement compared to the classical approach. The data are based on recorded times spent in 31 different real-life cases with different users, projects, and software tools.

The user-friendly, easy-to-use cloud service approach to LCA took on average 5 hours of work. Much of this is spent on data collection and input – with low value added. One Click LCA uses pre-existing design data from Building Information Models (BIM), and achieves the same result in just one hour. The data is mapped to the database, where users can review and adjust the results.

one click lca Best LCA for BREEAM 2013, 2015, 2016 AND 2017 – now 100% rating!

LCA is an essential component of all leading green certification schemes and helps to get higher ratings

 

Life-cycle performance is the core of sustainable construction. No wonder that LCA is a major component in leading green certification schemes, including LEED, BREEAM, DGNB, and others. As an example, One Click LCA holds a 97,5 % verified maximum for LCA in BREEAM International 2016, the highest score ever attained.

One Click LCA supports all rating schemes listed in the enclosed table, and 20 more different green certification and measurement schemes and standards in construction and infrastructure.

Certification/Tool LEED DGNB BREEAM
Life-Cycle Assessment up to 5 credits up to 7,9% up to 7 credits
All tools in One Click LCA up to 11 credits up to 13,5% up to 19 credits

whitepaper life cycle assessment customer cases

Certified construction projects in which One Click LCA has been used. Images copyright of their respective owners.

LCA is a powerful tool for public sustainability policy in construction, land sales and competitions

 

The city of Porvoo achieved a great outcome in a land sales competition, where LCA established 30 % of the total score of the bid. The city ensured comparability by mandating a common tool (360optimi) for the bidders. This gave confidence to developers, as the methodology is fully technology and material neutral . The winning bid turned out to be one of the lowest carbon residential developments in all of Finland.

Greenfield is in many ways easier than renovation – and LCA works for both. The city of Tampere used LCA-based scoring criteria for a 17 000 m2 property redevelopment competition. The LCA and energy criteria constituted 10 % of the total score. Even with a redevelopment’s many constraints, the outcome was 20 % differentiation between the three final round bids and reducing the original impact level to nearly half.

Besides competitions, LCA can be used in design, planning, zoning, regulation, and incentives, for instance. An increasing number of cities compare the choices of their own construction department using LCA. Third party verification of One Click LCA compliancy with several EN and ISO standards ensures comparability.

whitepaper life cycle assessment customer cases

Public construction projects in which One Click LCA has been used. Images copyright of their respective owners.

One Click LCA technology achieves quality LCA from real-world imperfect Building Information Models

 

Almost all buildings are designed today with 3D tools – constituting, in effect a Building Information Model (BIM). BIM are heterogeneous, with imperfect material labeling and at times, broken geometry. This creates significant technical challenges. To conduct a high quality LCA, at least 95 % data sample is needed.

The larger the project, the more crucial the BIM typically is – and the more time utilizing the BIM saves. This makes using BIM for LCA attractive, and several attempts have failed due to technical complexity, and some by requiring expensive software packages. One Click LCA does not depend on external software, and uses the construction industry’s standard format, Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), which all software support.

Under the hood, the One Click LCA process consists of over 10 sub-processes, each aimed at delivering the required data in required manner to achieve an LCA result in consistency with required standard.

one click lca life cycle assessment integrations

A core capability of the system is an adaptive recognition engine. With 15 000 m2 office building it achieved 97 % automatic recognition rate and with a 2 000 m2 industrial building the recognition rate for the materials data exceeded 99 %. However, when materials data is not encoded, the engine can easily be trained by the user to adapt to their particular modelling practices, or even manual mapping can be used. The system can also use other data sources, such as bills of materials developed for costing purposes, or be directly integrated into various information systems, such as production planning systems.

Do you have an hour for LCA? Join a free webinar for a demo, or try it out on your next project!

 

LCA helps construction project quantify the environmental performance of the various design options in a reliable manner and find efficiency gains. It can also easily be combined with Life-Cycle Costing to deliver a picture of a project’s economic performance at the same time.

To try it out in your project, create a free user account for One Click LCA here, and check out demonstration projects of different types. When you are ready to start, get your license – please contact us.

If you wish to learn more, why not sign up for a free webinar? The list of webinars is available here.

If you’re not an expert – welcome! One Click LCA is designed for beginners. For each purpose and scheme there’s a dedicated, easy to use LCA module that only contains the things you need, and nothing else. If your project does not have a BIM model, don’t worry – on average, your LCA can still be ready in less than a day. And should you have any questions or queries, our world class customer service is ready to help.

 

About Bionova and One Click LCA

 

Bionova is the developer of One Click LCA. One Click LCA is a third party certified LCA solution and supports over twenty a dozen different green building schemes and standards, as well as product EPD calculation. Bionova is AAA-rated company headquartered in Finland, and participates in ISO and EN LCA standardization and is a member of the Green Building Councils in the US, Sweden and Finland.

Inquiries: Panu Pasanen, CEO, Bionova Ltd, panu.pasanen@bionova.fi, +358 44 2871 722

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