eToolLCD and RICS Whole of Life Carbon Assessment for the built environment

eToolLCD allows consultants to adhere to the application of the RICS Whole of Life Carbon Assessment for the Built Form professional statement.  Below is a summary of the “Must” requirements from the standard and associated detail on eToolLCD’s compliance.

Section Requirement eToolLCD Compliance Notes and Guidance Using eToolLCD
3.1 Minimum Scope to include 1. Substructure and 2. Superstructure Yes Set by users during structure setup
3.1 Minimum Scope ot include Modules A1-3, A4-5, B4 and B6 Yes Set by users during project setup
3.1 Assessment must be carried out before commencement of the  technical design (RIBA Stage 4 Yes eToolLCD allows very early LCA studies to be conducted
3.2 Reference Study Periods Yes Configurable by users when editing designs
3.2 The boundaries of the whole life carbon assessment and the  life cycle stage modules covered must be explicitly stated and
justified in the report.
Yes eToolLCD Reporting explicitly defines the scope and system boundary of the assessment and allows users to describe the object of assessment
3.2 Floor areas from the following sources must be used and clearly stated in the whole life carbon assessment in the following order of preference and subject to availability at the different project stages: 1. BIM model, 2. Bill of quantities (BoQ) or cost plan, 3. Consultants’ drawings. Yes eToolLCD allows entry to floor areas by users. These are automatically reported in the automated LCA reports.
3.2 Material quantities from the following sources must be used and clearly stated in the whole life carbon assessment, in the following order of preference and subject to availability at the different project stages: 1. Materials delivery records, 2. BIM model, 3. Bill of quantities (BoQ) or cost plan, 4. Estimations from consultants’ drawings. Yes eToolLCD allows users to import BIM information, BoQ or cost plan information, or estimations from consultant’s drawings entry to floor areas by users.
3.2 Module [D] must be communicated separately and not aggregated  with the cradle-to-grave [A] to [C] carbon figures. Yes eToolLCD reports module D separately providing  “eTool Default” LCI Group is chosen when setting up the project (IMPACT data / method excludes  Module D from scope)
3.2 Material quantities from the following sources must be used and  clearly stated in the whole life carbon assessment, in the following order of preference and subject to availability at the different project stages:

1. Materials delivery records

2. BIM model

3. Bill of quantities (BoQ) or cost plan

4. Estimations from consultants’ drawings.

Yes eToolLCD allows users to enter data from all these sources.
3.2 The whole life carbon assessment results must be reported using the following units: kgCO2 equivalent (kgCO2e), or any clearly stated metric multiples thereof as appropriate, e.g. tCO2e. Yes eToolLCD default units for Global Warming Potential are
kgCO2
3.3 The assessor must explicitly state the data sources used in the whole life carbon assessment. The following are acceptable sources of carbon data for materials and products, in order of preference:

  • Type III environmental declarations (EPDs and equivalent) and datasets in accordance with EN 15804
  • Type III environmental declarations (EPDs and
  • equivalent) and datasets in accordance with ISO 21930
  • Type III environmental declarations (EPDs and
  • equivalent) and datasets in accordance with ISO 14067
  • EPDs and datasets in accordance with ISO
  • 14025, ISO 14040 and 14044
  • Type III environmental declarations (EPDs and
  • equivalent) and datasets in accordance with PAS 2050.
Yes eToolLCD allows users to enter EPDs and the default data sets are in compliance with ISO 14040 and 14044. eToolLCD automatically references the users’ data sources in the reports (both background data and EPDs if used).  Data quality compliance is also automatically reported which covers both the background data and user entries in the  software
3.4 Carbon sequestration must only be taken into
account when the following criteria are met: 1.
The whole life carbon assessment of the project
includes the impacts of the EoL stage [C] and 2.
The timber originates from sustainable sources
(certified by FSC, PEFC or equivalent).
Yes eToolLCD allows the reporting of timber sequestration in
Modules A1-3 as well as timber decomposition in module C4.  If project teams are using non-FSC PEFC or equivalent products please contact eTool for guidance on how to eliminate BioGenic carbon.
 3.4 The biogenic carbon stored (sequestered) in
timber elements must be calculated based on the
formula provided in EN 16449.
Yes eToolLCD background data follows the EN 16449 formula.  Users must be aware of EPD methodologies to ensure this requirements is followed where EPDs are used in LCAs.  Users should note that
3.5

The carbon emissions attributable to the product stage [A1–A3] of the items included in the whole life carbon assessment must be calculated by assigning suitable embodied carbon factors to the given elemental material quantities.

Yes eToolLCD includes a comprehensive database of construction products.  Users are provided a range of methods of calculating quantities.
 3.5

To ensure baseline consistency, the following specifications must be used in the absence of detailed information – see Table 6 below.

Yes Concrete strengths and replacement contents can be chosen in eToolLCD to match the building specification.

Recycled Content can be specified for steel in all models utilising the eTool Default LCI Sources

Users can configure the strength and density of concrete (to simulate different concrete block work)

A wide variety of timber options are available for selection in eToolLCD

Aluminium recycled content can be specified in all models utilising the eTool Default LCI Sources

Users may enter EPD data to for Plasterboard with 60% recycled content (or utilise eToolLCD LCI data for specific plasterboard specs of buildings)

Users may enter EPD data for PIR based insulation (or utilise eToolLCD LCI data for specific insulation specs of buildings)

 3.5

Transport emissions must include all stages of the journey of the products following their departure from the final manufacturing plant to the project site, taking into account any interim stops at storage depots and/or distribution centres.

Yes Users may enter as many transport legs as they wish.  eToolLCD default transport distances usually have at least two legs (apart from locally manufactured products)
 3.5

The carbon emissions arising from any on- or off-site construction-related activities must be considered in [A5]. This includes any energy consumption for site accommodation, plant
use and the impacts associated with any waste generated through the construction process, its treatment and disposal.

Yes eToolLCD allows the quantification of detailed construction processes including the energy use of equipment and plant and the transport of equipment and plant too and from site.  eToolLCD accounts for wastes generated during construction in Module A5.  The waste percentage is configurable along with the disposal method and recycling rate of the material.
 3.5

The use stage must capture the carbon emissions associated with the operation of the built asset over its entire life cycle, from practical completion to the end of its service life as determined in 3.2.3.

Yes eToolLCD allows detailed inputs of operational energy and water use (and treatment) over the life cycle of the building.
 3.5

Any carbon emitted from building components during the life of the building must be reported in [B1].

Yes In eToolLCD this is presently presently limited to carbonation of concrete.
 3.5 Module [B2] must account for the carbon emissions arising from any activities relating to maintenance processes, including cleaning, and any products used. Additionally, it should include any emissions from the energy and water use associated with these activities. Yes eToolLCD allows detailed accounting of maintenance and cleanting activities.
3.5

Module [B3] must take into account the carbon emissions arising from all activities that relate to repair processes and any products used.

Yes eToolLCD allows detailed accounting of repair activities.
 3.5

Module [B4] must take into account any carbon emissions associated with the anticipated replacement of building components, including any emissions from the replacement process.
All emissions arising from the production, transportation to site and installation of the replacement items must be included. This extends to cover any losses during these processes, as well as the carbon associated with component removal and EoL treatment.

Yes eToolLCD allows reporting of replacement activities in Modules B4 (Default LCI Sources) or B5 (IMPACT LCI Sources).   Note that RICS have interpreted module B4/B5 differently from the authors of the IMPACT standard.  The IMPACT standard requires that replacements are reported in module B5.  By default eTool complies with the impact method when using the IMPACT LCI Sources.
3.5

Module [B5] must take into account any
carbon emissions associated with any building components used in a refurbishment, including any emissions from refurbishment activities. All emissions arising from the production, transport to site and installation of the components used must be included. This includes any losses during these processes, as well as the carbon associated with their removal and EoL treatment.

Partial The requirement for Module B5 (as interpreted by RICS) is quite rare.  There are however options for users, please reach out to eTool for assistance should this be required.
3.5 The operational carbon emissions arising from the energy use of building-integrated systems as projected and/or measured throughout the life cycle of the project must be reported under module [B6].  Yes A number of electricity and energy sources may be selected for accounting for B6 impacts.
 3.5

All carbon emissions related to water supply and wastewater treatment, over the life cycle of the building (excluding water use during maintenance, repair, replacement and refurbishment that are reported elsewhere), must be reported under module [B7].

Yes If using the default eTool LCI Sources both water use and treatment can be accurately quantified in eToolLCD.
3.5 Any emissions arising from decommissioning, stripping out, disassembly, deconstruction and demolition operations as well as from transport, processing and disposal of materials at the end of life of the project must be accounted for in module [C].  Yes  eToolLCD allows the detailed quantification of all end of life scenarios.  Recovery rates are also configurable.
 3.5

The carbon emissions arising from any on-
or off-site deconstruction and demolition activities, including any energy consumption for site accommodation and plant use, must be considered in [C1].

 Yes A range of equipment can be selected in eToolLCD to model end of life demolition activities.
3.5 Any carbon emissions associated with the transportation of deconstruction and demolition arisings to the appropriate disposal site, including any interim stations, must be captured within module [C2].  Yes Included and configurable for users.
3.5

When materials and/or components are intended to be recovered and reused or recycled after
the end of the life of the built asset, any carbon emissions associated with their treatment and processing prior to reaching the end-of-waste state must be included in module [C3].

 Yes In most cases the end of waste state for commonly recycled construction products is met before the product leaves site (eg scarp aluminium, steel etc) has a market value as soon as it is separated on site.   However in cases where processing is required to achieve value such as recycling of brick and tile waste for road-base, the disposal method will include impacts in Module C3.
 3.5

For elements not expected to be recovered and repurposed, but intended for final disposal either in landfill or incineration, an allowance for the emissions arising from their disposal must be included in [C4].

Yes For most products a range of disposal methods may be selected to accurately model the disposal emissions.
 3.5

Module [D] includes the potential environmental benefits or burdens of materials and components beyond the life of the project. Module [D] must be reported separately and not aggregated with cradle to grave modules [A–C].

Yes eToolLCD accounts for the following module D benefits or burdens:

  • Operational Energy Exports (D1)
  • Closed Loop Recycling (D2)
  • Open Loop Recycling (D3)
  • Materials Energy Recovery (D4)

 

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