The goals of an eTool LCA are to:
- Quantify the environmental impacts of the clients design (normal eTool assessments pay particular attention to CO2 equivalent emissions, CO2e)
- Compare these impacts against a typical ‘business as usual’ benchmark
- Provide recommendations that will ideally reduce the total impacts of the building
- Conduct this in a cost effective, auditable and repeatable manner
A typical eTool assessment allows reporting of numerous impacts:
- Global Warming Potential
- Primary Energy
- Water Use
- Land Use
Most commonly however we only report on Global Warming Potential.
It is the goal of eTool to estimate impacts with enough accuracy to compare different design options. The aim is to be vaguely right not precisely wrong. Estimating impacts to high levels of confidence requires detailed resources. In the case of buildings, this will usually be overshadowed by the influence of occupant behavior on operational impacts, or the actual building life that will deviate significantly from that estimated in this assessment. The assessment does not attempt to predict the affects of future changes to:
- Grid Power Sources (which hopefully by the time this building is actually nearing it’s design life will be predominantly renewable) Inflation of building materials (for maintenance), labour costs or energy costs
- The assessment therefore represents a snapshot in time, all else being equal, of the building performance.