Modelling Carbon Neutral Construction in eTool

When it comes to modeling carbon neutral construction projects in eTool, you need to bear in mind that an LCA needs to be conducted first in order to find out what the carbon impact of a building/construction is which is then offset outside of the LCA. LCAs give you the information on how much carbon you need to offset in order to achieve carbon neutrality. With that understanding, it isn’t sound methodology to then go backwards and change the LCA of that building to zero after you’ve offset that carbon. Hence why EN 15978 standards do not include carbon offsets in the LCA boundary scope. For this reason, we do not certify LCAs that have modelled carbon offsetting strategies however it is possible to achieve carbon neutral performance without using carbon offsets.

LCAs are used to calculate how much carbon a building/structure has to know how much needs to be offset outside of the LCA.

However with the increasing pressure on achieving carbon neutral targets, there’s more demand to model carbon offseting strategies in LCAs to demonstrate their benefit. 

At Cerclos, we strive to support our users with achieving their LCA goals in line with global demand and EN & ISO standards. Below we have complied our recommendations on how to model carbon neutral construction in eTool while remaining in compliance to EN/ISO standards.

Jump to the following sections in this post:

How to Model A Carbon Neutral Structure/Construction in eTool

In order to achieve a carbon neutral structure/construction, on top of the usual carbon reduction strategies covered in this post, most projects may need to adopt additional strategies to reach carbon neutrality. These strategies typically include the following – specify carbon neutral products (product impacts offset by the manufacturers), offsets for construction equipment impacts, Green Energy Purchase Agreement (operational energy offset) and purchasing additional carbon offsets for the remaining impacts.

For detailed guidance on how to model these strategies in eTool, please click on the links below:

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Reporting from eTool

Once your Final/Proposed/As-Built Design has been certified and your carbon offset scenario designs have been reviewed (they won’t be certified), you may proceed with generating a report from eTool. You can do this by running the LCA report from the last carbon offset strategy that you’re implementing for your project. Note that this report will not contain the ‘eTool Certified’ stamp since this report will be generated from the uncertified Scenario design.

Generate Report from Certified Headline Design

To generate your report with the ‘eTool Certified’ stamp, you’ll need to generate the LCA report from the certified Proposed/Final Design. Please ensure that your carbon offset scenario designs have also been reviewed (won’t be certified).

Below are the steps to generate your LCA report.

  1. In last carbon neutral/offset scenario modeled, under ‘Set Scenario Purpose’ change it to ‘Improved Design’. Save to implement the changes.
  2. Jump back into your Proposed/Final Design and then the ‘Reports’ tab to generate the LCA report.
  3. Turn on the ‘Compare Against Benchmark’ & ‘Include Comparison’ buttons.
  4. Under the Benchmark option, select your Reference Design while under the Comparison option, select your last carbon neutral/offset scenario design.
  5. Click ‘Generate’ to generate your LCA report.

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