Life Cycle Assessment software FAQAll your questions about One Click LCA answered
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How do I register my One Click LCA account?
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How much does a license cost?
Please check the guidance on how to buy from the online store here.
What is the difference between Starter, Business and Expert licenses?
Business license includes (in addition to all features in the starter license) integration with commonly used design software for automated LCA import; option to download product EPDs used in the project directly from the software; industry average benchmark values; email support and live webinar training.
Expert license includes (in addition to all features in the business license) 3D LCA visualisation directly in the BIM model; sustainable materials suggestion and benchmarking and private materials database; private webinar training, email support and live chat support.
How do I activate my license?
Once we have received your payment, your license will be automatically created.
If you need to start with your project immediately and you need your license to be activated before we have received the payment, please forward the copy of your payment to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will activate your license.
You can start using the tool after the activation of your license. Your license will be activated by linking it to your user account. To do so, you must be a registered user on One Click LCA and give us a notification of the user name at email@example.com.
Do you offer an educational license?
I haven’t completed my LCA project, but my project license has expired. How can I proceed and are there any related costs?
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How can I learn more about Life-Cycle Assessment?
Is it possible to interview you for an article?
How can I learn how to use the software?
For Business and Enterprise license users there is a free training webinar, where all functionalities of the tool are explained based on the purposes of your LCA projects.
For all customers we also offer customer support via email. Support via Livechat is available only for Enteprise license holders. For bigger companies with many users, private live trainings can also be arranged in situ.
For each tool we have available instructions page. To access that, please click on the ‘Instructions’ button next to your tool to access the page.
How do I get the support manual?
I have a question that has not been answered
Who does usually use the software?
What is the assessment period One Click LCA applies for Life-Cycle Assessment and Life-Cycle Costing?
Does the software allow for other functions in addition to Life-Cycle Assessment?
What are building life cycle stages and how are they calculated?
The following table lists all life cycle stages according to EN standards:
Life-cycle stages according to EN standards.
A1: raw material extraction and processing, processing of secondary material input (e.g. recycling processes)
A2: transport to the manufacturer
Module A1, A2 and A3 may be declared as one aggregated module A1-3. All stages include provision of all materials, products and energy, as well as waste processing up to the end-of waste state or disposal of final residues during the product stage. The assessment takes only the building and its parts into account, but not furniture or appliances, for example.
A4: transport to the building site
A5: installation into the building
Stages A4 and A5 include all impacts and aspects related to any losses during this construction process stage (i.e. production, transport, and waste processing and disposal of the lost products and materials).
B1: use or application of the installed product
B6: operational energy use (e.g. operation of heating system and other building related installed services);
B7: operational water use
Stages B6 and B7 include also provision and transport of all materials, products, as well as energy and water provisions, waste processing up to the end-of-waste state or disposal of final residues during this part of the use stage.
C1: de-construction, demolition
C2: transport to waste processing
C3: waste processing for reuse, recovery and/or recycling
All C stages include provision and transport, provision of all materials, products and related energy and water use.
D: reuse, recovery and/or recycling potentials, expressed as net impacts and benefits
Different life cycle stages are either mandatory or optional for different scope of LCA. In product level EPDs only Modules A1 to A3 are mandatory under EN 15804, while all other phases are optional. In building level calculations (for instance according to EN 15978) the idea is to take into account all the meaningful impacts over the life time of the building. However, different certifications and calculation systems may limit the modules calculated.
There is also an additional module (Module D), which can be included in the scope of the assessment. Module D allows supplementary information beyond the building life cycle to be considered. For construction products, this means that the benefits and burdens of disposal after demolition can be taken into account. The use of Module D is consistent with a cradle-to-cradle approach.
Which life cycle stages does One Click LCA support?
However, in most of our tools that are targeted for whole building LCA for different certifications and calculation schemes, the amount of the life cycle stages available is restricted to match the requirement of the scheme in question. That is shown in the following table:
Life-cycle stages supported by One Click LCA.
What happens if I don’t have any of the required design inputs at the moment?
Why I cannot see the carbon clouds and the material emission comparison?
Compliancy & standards
Which LCA standards does One Click LCA support for whole building LCA?
Our whole building life cycle assessment tools for North American markets are compliant with ISO 14040/44.
The tool is also third-party verified for EN 15978, ISO 21931–1, ISO 21929–1 and for input data for ISO 14040/44 and EN 15804 standards. Please find the verification report here.
Which LCA standards does One Click LCA support for product EPD and carbon footprint calculations?
The tool is also verified against EN 15804. Please find the verification report here.
Which impact assessment / characterization methodology does One Click LCA use?
For North American markets we use TRACI, short for “Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts”, which was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The TRACI impact categories of:
- Ozone depletion
- Global warming
- Smog formation
- Human health cancer, human health noncancer, human health criteria pollutants and ecotoxity
were developed specifically for US conditions by using input data consistent with US locations. Read more here.
Which impact assessment categories does One Click LCA support?
|Indicators||BNB||BREEAM UK/Intl||DGNB DE||DGNB Intl/DK||HQE||LEED CML/Intl||Building Element||LCA complete||Life-cycle LCA||Life-cycle CO2|
potential (Kg CO2 e)
potential (Kg CFC-11 e)
potential (Kg SO2 e)
potential (Kg (PO4)3- e)
potential (Kg C4H4 e)
potential (kg Sb e)
potential (MJ net
Other EN standard impact categories included in One Click LCA:
- Use of renewable primary energy excluding renewable primary energy resources used as raw materials (MJ net calorific value)
- Use of renewable primary energy resources used as raw materials (MJ net calorific value)
- Total use of renewable primary energy resources (primary energy and primary energy resources used as materials) (MJ net calorific value)
- Use of non-renewable primary energy excluding non-renewable primary energy resources used as raw materials (MJ net calorific value)
- Use of non-renewable primary energy resources used as raw materials (MJ net calorific value)
- Total use of non-renewable primary energy resources (primary energy and primary energy resources used as materials) (MJ net calorific value)
- Use of secondary material (kg)
- Use of renewable secondary fuels (MJ net calorific value)
- Use of non-renewable secondary fuels (MJ net calorific value)
- Net use of fresh water (m3)
- Hazardous waste disposed* (kg)
- Non hazardous waste disposed (kg)
- Radioactive waste disposed (kg)
- Components for re-use (kg)
- Materials for recycling (kg)
- Materials for energy recovery (kg)
- Exported energy (MJ per energy carrier)
LCA for LEED, USA and Canada uses all 6 TRACI 2.1 categories.
CML / EN/ TRACI standard impact categories and units:
Global warming potential (GWP): Global warming potential is a relative measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere. The global warming potential is calculated in carbon dioxide equivalents meaning that the greenhouse potential of an emission is given in relation to CO2. Since the residence time of gases in the atmosphere is incorporated into the calculation, a time range for the assessment is defined to be 100 years. For CML methodology unit kgCO2-Eq and for TRACI kgCO2-Eq/kg substance is used.
Ozone depletion potential (ODP): Ozone depletion potential represents a relative value that indicates the potential of a substance to destroy ozone gas as compared with the potential of chlorofluorocarbon-11 which is assigned a reference value of 1, resulting in an equilibrium state of total ozone reduction. For CML methodology unit kgCFC-11-Eq and for TRACI kgCFC-11-Eq/kg substance is used.
Acidification potential (AP): The acidification of soils and waters occurs predominantly through the transformation of air pollutants into acids, which leads to a decrease in the pH-value of rainwater and fog from 5.6 and below. Acidification potential is described as the ability of certain substances to build and release H+ions and is given in sulphur dioxide equivalents (kgSO2-Eq for CML and kgSO2-Eq/kg substance for TRACI).
Eutrophication potential (EP): Eutrophication is the enrichment of nutrients in a certain place. It can be aquatic or terrestrial. All emissions of N and P to air, water and soil and of organic matter to water are aggregated into a single measure. The unit for CML methodology is kgPO4-Eq and kgN-Eq/kg substance for TRACI.
Photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP)/ Smog formation: Radiation from the sun produces aggressive reaction products, like ozone, in the presence of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. Photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP) for CML methodology is expressed using the reference unit in ethylene-equivalents (kgC2H4-Eq), for smog formation of TRACI methodology the ozone formation is used as reference (kgO3Eq/kg substance is used).
Abiotic depletion potential (ADP)/ Fossil fuel depletion: Abiotic depletion describes the reduction of the global amount of non-renewable raw materials and is determined for each extraction of minerals and fossil fuels based on the remaining reserves and rate of extraction. The results are calculated in reference case for Antimony kg Sb-eq or in MJ for CML methodology and in MJ for TRACI methodology, which includes the fossil energy carriers (crude oil, natural gas, coal resources).
Human health cancer; Human health noncancer; Human health criteria pollutants, Eco-toxicity: Used in TRACI methodology only, it focuses on covering those chemicals of concern within the US (e.g., TRI chemicals). It has since been recognized that today’s global economy often requires the inclusion of suppliers who are outside of the US within countries who may have their own lists of reportable chemicals. The USEtox expanded set allows this expansion into chemicals of concern globally. USEtox is developed with two spatial scales: continental and global. The environmental compartments within the continental scale includes: urban air, rural air, agricultural soil, industrial soil, freshwater, and coastal marine water. USEtox includes most of the pathways found in the original EPA Risk Assessment Guidelines, including inhalation, ingestion of drinking water, produce, meat, milk, and freshwater and marine fish. The recommended units for the USEtox human health cancer, noncancer, and ecotoxicity are: CTUcancer/kg, CTUnoncancer/kg, and CTUeco/kg, respectively. Read more here.
What does normalization mean and does One Click LCA support it?
Normalisation converts complicated units into fractions of building product’s scores per impact category.
According to the EN ISO 14044 standard, normalization is the calculation of the magnitude of the category indicator results relative to some reference information. The aim of the normalization is to understand better the relative magnitude for each indicator result of the product under study.
One Click LCA is using this method only for BRE Eco Points, which uses certain rules for normalization provided by BRE.
What is the difference between IMPACT compliant and IMPACT equivalent tool?
The IMPACT Equivalent tool uses manufacturer specific environmental product declaration (EPD) data from manufacturers who have published their data in BRE EPD system or with some other EPD publisher. There are also differences in scope of the analysis.
The IMPACT compliant tool calculates all 24 environmental indicators according to EN standards, while the IMPACT Equivalent tool focuses on carbon footprint. Both of them are verified for compliancy and provide same credits for BREEAM UK NC calculations.
I'm from a region that does not have local LCA data, can I still use the software for BREEAM Int'l Mat 01 credits?
The methodology has been verified by BRE and based on the robustness of the method they have granted One Click LCA 100 % software quality rating for BREEAM Int’l anywhere in the world.
Is the software been verified to be compliant with LEED v4 MRc1 credit requirements?
GBCI does not pre-verify software solutions for this credit anymore but they verify them once a project using it is submitted. One Click LCA has already passed this verification for both LEED v4 MRc1 and LEED v3 respective pilot credit.
I'm from a region that does not have local LCA data, can I still use the software to get the LEED v4 credits?
Yes. We use a data regionalization methodology according to CEN/TR 15941:2010 to adjust the emissions to match with local manufacturing conditions.
So, we confirm the software, the data, and the data regionalisation feature of the software all fully comply with ISO 14044 and LEED v4 requirements.
Does One Click LCA integrate to other design tools?
What does One Click LCA require from BIM?
Do I need a Revit model to use One Click LCA?
What if my Revit model is not a good one?
Materials & databases
What happens if a material we are using is not in your database?
The new data added must pass our quality control. The main requirement to data is to be at a minimum ISO 14040/44 compliant and the study must be conducted no more than 10 years ago. The EPDs issued in Europe are commonly also EN 15804 compliant and in that case valid 5 years from the issue date.
Find which kind of data can be found in our software here.
How to select the best alternative option if a material is not in the database?
Is it possible to create a new material that is not in the database?
Is it also possible to modify the life expectancy of a material.
How can I know which materials have the highest impacts?
What is a functional/declared unit and which units does the software support?
Functional unit defines the impact results for certain service level the product provides. For instance for insulation product it could be 1 m2 of insulation which ensures a thermal resistance of 1.5 m2/WK during 50 years. It is normally used in product EPD calculations when impacts related to product use phase are also given. If the function of the product in the building level is not known (e.g. if the product has several applications in the building) or when the study does not consider all the life cycle modules declared unit is used instead of functional unit. It represents physical quantity of the product such as 1 m2 of 50 mm thick insulation or 1 kg insulation.
Which units does One Click LCA support?
For product level calculations, the unit can be freely chosen based on the product and life cycle stages studied.
For buildings, most of the LCA tools of One Click LCA provide results as a total for whole building and per 1 m2 of building area (different area definitions can be used). Additionally, other units such as impacts per 1 m2 of building / year of building use or impacts per user amount may be available for some tools.
What is an EPD?
EPDs are based on Life-cycle assessment calculations according to ISO 14040, ISO 14044 and usually EN 15804 standard in European countries. An EPD is created and verified in accordance with the International Standard ISO14025, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In Europe, the European Committee for Standardization has published EN 15804, common Product Category Rules (PCR) for EPD development in the construction sector.
You can read more about EPDs in our guide here.
Do I need EPDs for all the materials to be able to calculate an LCA?
One Click LCA provides both an extensive database of EPDs and average data for the products. We also offer more detailed guidance to our clients to help them choose the most relevant datasets.
What if the EPD you need is not in the One Click LCA database?
The new data added must pass our quality control. The main requirement to data is to be as a minimum ISO 14040/44 compliant and the study must be conducted no more than 10 years ago. The EPDs issued in Europe are commonly also EN 15804 compliant and in that case valid 5 years from the issue date.
Find which kind of data can be found in our software here.
How do I know which material option is the best choice for my buildings calculation?
Where does building material impact information come from?
All the incoming building material data is checked for its validity, reasonability, and coverage before being added to the database. In many cases the data is also enhanced by additional parameters. As a last step the data is filtered according to the requirements of the calculation tool/scheme.
What are Product Category Rules (PCRs)?
Generic PCRs are a key part of the ISO 14025 standard, whereas the EN 15804 standard provides a core PCR for the Europe-wide generation of construction sector EPD and can be used as such or with additional PCRs. Usually all EPD publishing platforms such as IBU or EPD Norge have either one PCR as a set of additional rules for published EPDs, or a set of PCRs for different construction product categories.
Which databases are included in One Click LCA and which standards do they follow?
EPDs entered in One Click LCA database include detailed technical description about building products and comply with EN15804 and/or ISO 14025 standards. All EU databases included comply with the EN 15804 standard and North-American databases comply with the ISO 14040/44 standard.
For several European and world building material producers, One Click LCA has available manufacturer specific data, which allows for highly precise calculation results.
For those who do not yet know which specific building product (manufacturer specific EPDs) they will use, One Click LCA has also country-specific average data (e.g. Ökobaudat and INIES).
If One Click LCA is used in areas where there is not yet a comprehensive local building LCA database available, we have a local compensation methodology that allows to localize the data to get results that match the local manufacturing conditions for a specific area.
Why do you not integrate database X?
How are energy impacts calculated?
The impacts of the electricity mix are calculated using the obtained fuel mixes and the impacts of the different fuels and using the output of energy as denominator, thus resulting in impacts per kWh of energy.
Finnish electricity impacts have been calculated using data from Energiateollisuus (2017b) and Statistics Finland (2017). The data includes the used fuel mixes, imported energy, as well as production output and transmission losses. The impacts of heat from Finnish district heating plants have been calculated based on Kaukolämpötilasto (Energiateollisuus 2017a), which provides statistics for each district heating plant in Finland. The statistics include fuel mixes as well as provided district heating and losses. The chosen district heat supplier provides heat to the plant/area and was thus chosen to represent the impacts of used heat.
Reporting & Certifications
How does One Click LCA display the results?
Are the results easy to understand and transparent?
In different certification schemes the scope of LCA may differ and some additional requirements might be included. To ensure compliant results, we have templates for different certification schemes based on the specific requirements. For example, in the case of DGNB we have a separate tool that ensures that the results match DGNB requirements.To ensure transparency you’ll be able to see all the data sources and separate results for each data point and download EPDs used in the calculation.
Is it possible to get interim results?
Can I still get the required BREEAM credits if the project has passed the design stage?
Life Cycle Costing
How does your LCC tool works and does it include a cost database?
The Automated LCC tool uses your imported construction materials as a basis for your construction costs. Operation and maintenance costs are calculated based on automatically generated location parameters. Replacements are calculated based on the service life of your construction materials. All other costs can be added manually. The tool enables to change the automatically generated costs, so if project’s specific information is available, the figures can be easily edited.
The Template based LCC tool provides easy row-by row template to be filled with the project specific cost data. The templates are based on ISO 15686-5 & EN 16627 standards for international projects and PD 156865:2008 for projects in the UK. The tool enables to calculate LCC over different calculation period and to change the discount factor and add/remove VAT.