Perth Metronet LCA Modelling and Reporting

Introduction and Background

This guidance will be updated periodically so please check back each time you are delivering a design deadline, reporting to Metronet, submitting rating scheme documentation or starting a new project.  

The Perth Metronet is a large infrastructure programme delivering new railway routes, stations and adjacent communities.  Metronet Sustainability Strategy outlines a number of initiatives that may be supported with eToolLCD software.  Some Metronet Projects will also be pursuing ISCA and Green Star ratings.  This guidance is to assist project teams meeting the requirements.  

Note that eToolLCD Software is not compulsory, the relationship between Metronet and eTool can be summarised as follows:

  • Metronet hold a license with eToolLCD and have been using eToolLCD internally for preliminary design modelling on some projects.
  • eTool have been working closely with Metronet to ensure that key reporting requirements are deliverable with eToolLCD.
  • eTool and Metronet have agreed that contractors with existing enterprise subscribers may access and edit Metronet models without additional licensing fees to Metronet, the aim being that Metronet is able to efficiently and quantifiably monitor the environmental design performance (eg Global Warming Potential ) of large parts of the programme within eToolLCD.

LCA is particularly suited to Metronet’s broad asset class responsibility spans rail, road and precincts development (buildings) 

Metronet Sustainability Strategy

The components of the Metronet Sustainability Strategy that eToolLCD may help in delivering are outlined below.  

Environment: Energy and Carbon:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions are assessed for transport infrastructure projects,
    commencing in business case development and ongoing throughout design
  • Suitable initiatives to improve greenhouse gas emissions are identified and
    implemented, including as part of business case valuation.

Economy: Resource Efficiency (Integrated Life Cycle Assessment)

  • A life cycle assessment (LCA) method considering energy, water and materials use is integrated with the design process for projects. The process is commenced during project planning and reviewed at key design milestones to inform good decision making
  • Key design decisions impacting on the LCA and the resource footprint (energy, water and materials use) of projects are captured in a project design decision register.

Economy: Resource Efficiency (Whole of Life Costs & Benefits)

  • Whole of life cost savings for operations and maintenance are prioritised
  • Energy efficiency opportunities are assessed by transport projects and viable reduction initiatives (payback less than 5 years) implemented in both design response and construction practice/methodology

Feasible renewable energy technologies (payback period less than 5 years) are incorporated in station/facility design

Rating Schemes

In addition many Metronet projects will also be pursuing ISCA or GBCA ratings.  

GBCA Greenstar

GBCA has relatively clear guidance for the use of Life Cycle Assessment within the tool.  eToolLCD is ready to deliver the requirements of the LCA credits within Green star (as of Jan 2021).  eTool will work to bridge any functionality gaps required to meet the requirements of future versions of Green Star where there is reasonably alignment with our business mission to improve the environmental performance of the built form.  

ISCA

ISCA rating guidelines state that and LCA approach can be utilised for satisfying the materials credit in place of the IS Materials Calculator.  eTool assisted ISCA in developing clear guidance for the LCA pathway recently released.   The Metronet LCA Specification should be as this largely aligns with the ISCA guidance.  

Training

Subscribers are highly encouraged to complete both the beginner and intermediate eToolLCD training prior to completing their first model.  The training is free and will significantly improve your eToolLCD experience and more importantly assist you in improving the environmental performance of Metronet assets.  

Project Setup

The project is a collection of structures (eg Railway line(s), Stations etc) making up a PTA construction contract.  

Organisation Assignment

Metronet / PTA want to maintain the IP of the model.  To facilitate this the subscribers conducting the modelling must be allocated a seat in PTA’s organisation, and then assign the model to the PTA org when creating (or editing if doing this afterwards) a project:

Indicators

The indicators selected should include all those that may be necessary for good design decision making, ISCA, Green Star, life cycle cost reporting and Metronet reporting:

Environmental Impacts

  • Global Warming Potential, GWP
  • Ozone Depletion Potential, ODP
  • Acidification Potential for Soil and Water, AP
  • Eutrophication potential, EP
  • Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential, POCP
  • Abiotic Depletion Potential – Elements, ADPE
  • Abiotic Depletion Potential – Fossil Fuels, ADPF
  • Global Warming Potential Fossil, GWP F
  • Global Warming Potential Biogenic, GWP B
  • Global Warming Potential LULUC, GWP L

Resource Use

  • Net use of fresh water, FW

Financial

  • Australian Dollars

Additional Indicators

  • Land Use
  • Particulate Matter
  • Human Toxicity Cancer
  • Human Toxicity Non-Cancer
  • Water Scarcity
  • Ionizing Radiation
  • ISCA Global warming (IPCC 2007)
  • ISCA Ozone layer depletion (ODP)
  • ISCA Acidification
  • ISCA Eutrophication
  • ISCA Photochemical oxidation
  • ISCA Abiotic depletion (Minerals)
  • ISCA Abiotic depletion (Fossil fuels)
  • ISCA Enviropoints V2.0

Materials Efficiency

  • Materials Efficiency Metric
  • Mass of non-renewable primary material
  • Mass of non-renewable secondary (recycled) materials
  • Mass of renewable primary material
  • Mass of renewable secondary (recycled) material
  • Mass of reused non-renewable materials
  • Mass of reused renewable materials
  • Mass of materials, total

Modules

Select All Modules

Site Attributes

Set up as follows: 

Structure, Design and Function Setup

Generally the structure setup will be set to the relevant type (eg building or infrastructure) and the subsequent construction element, energy and water scope can be left as default.  Determining how to set the design and functions up should be thought through carefully as merging (or splitting) designs later can be a time consuming exercise.  Typically it is best to aggregate information into a smaller number of “large” designs.  For example, it would make much more sense to house the station and associated roads, car parking, underpasses etc in the same design but model the separate parts as different functions of the station rather than model each part as a separate design.  The aggregated models just reduce time associated with running scenario analysis (eg, you can run one scenario to determine the affect of a low carbon material across all functions if in the same design, otherwise you have to run each strategy many times, one in each separate design).   Report can still be run for each individual function, or the whole asset.  

Modelling Guidance

Please refer to Metronet LCA Specification for clear guidance on Metronet’s LCA modelling and reporting expectations.  Metronet will likely require modelling at some or all of the following design and delivery stages.  It is important that modelling is conducted at an early stage to allow the design team to react to the LCA insights.  Guidance provided below regarding how the eToolLCD models should be set up.  

Concept Stage

The LCA modelling goal is to identify a maximum of improvement strategies to ensure the design team can consider their inclusion at the earliest opportunity.  The most effective way of modelling this in eToolLCD is as follows:Con

  1. Baseline Design (Reference, Business as Usual or BAU).  See Metronet Base Case Framework for details on the assumptions to be included in this model.  Note that we recommend that this model is conducted first in eToolLCD.  This will likely require take off information from the proposed design to be appropriately adjusted to reflect the Metronet Base Case Framework.  Modelling this design first will allow users to subsequently model the improvements in the concept proposed design as scenarios in eToolLCD which greatly improves transparency and decision making clarity for the design teams.  eTool recommend that this design is certified prior to progressing to the Proposed Design to avoid rework.  
  2. Proposed Design.  Include planned and committed strategies in this model, ideally modelled as scenarios in eToolLCD to improve transparency and decision making clarity for the design team.  eTool recommend that this design is certified prior to progressing to the Improved Design to avoid rework.  
  3. Improved Design. Include all possible strategies in this model beyond those included in the Proposed Design:
    • Strategies previously identified by the design team but subject to approval
    • New strategies identified by the design team
    • Strategies identified by the LCA modellers during the modelling process.  Utilise the Analysis Tab to gain insights into where opportunities may exist.  

Arguably this is the most critical LCA modelling as it has the most chance of influencing the design.  Once the design progresses the inclusion of environmental improvement strategies will likely become more and more disruptive.  

15% Detailed Design Stage

As for Concept modelling.  If concept modelling has been conducted separately the 15% Detailed modelling can be refined to exclude strategies that are not possibly viable from the “Improved” design.  

85% Detailed Design Stage

The goal is to check progress towards the project targets with accurate design data showcasing percent improvement achieved over business as usual. The modelling process is a little different.  You will first need to start with a new “Baseline Design” which is a backcast of the proposed design.   

  1. Baseline Design (Reference, Business as Usual or BAU). See Metronet Base Case Framework for details on the assumptions to be included in this model.  This will likely require take off information from the proposed design to be appropriately adjusted to reflect the Metronet Base Case Framework.  Modelling this design prior to modelling the Proposed Design will allow users to subsequently model the improvements in the concept proposed design as scenarios in eToolLCD which greatly improves transparency and decision making clarity for the design teams.  eTool recommend that this design is certified prior to progressing to the Proposed Design to avoid rework.  
  2. Proposed Design.  Include planned and committed strategies in this model, ideally modelled as scenarios in eToolLCD to improve transparency and decision making clarity for the design team.  eTool recommend that this design is certified prior to progressing to the Proposed Design to avoid rework.  
  3. Improved Design. Only required if Concept or 15% Detailed modelling has been conducted as per above guidance.  May be utilised to tighten the certainty on previously modelled improvement strategies and re-test their validity if they are still being considered.  

Note that a typical workflow in ISCA and Green Star projects is to start with the “Proposed Design” and work back to the “Baseline” by making changes that reflect business as usual practices.  This is also possible in eToolLCD but will significantly remove transparency associated with modelling scenarios hence the recommended pathway above.  

As Built Stage

The goal is to satisfy submission ISCA, Green Star requirements and contractual targets with accurate design data showcasing percent improvement achieved over business as usual.  The modelling process is similar to the 85% Detailed Design Stage but data sources vary a little.  

  1. Baseline Design.  This model should be the same as the 85% Detailed Design Stage but include necessary and justifiable changes based on changes in the Proposed Design.  Ideally the changes to this final Baseline compared to the 85% Design Baseline are itemised (eg modelled as Scenarios) so stakeholders have a clear audit trail of these changes. eTool recommend that this design is certified prior to progressing to the Proposed Design to avoid rework.  Some examples of As Built Reference modelling principles that satisfy “necessary and justifiable changes”: 
    • Inclusion of Design Changes: For Example the late inclusion of an additional pedestrian access path should be reflected in the reference.  Conversely the late exclusion of a pedestrian access path should be reflected in the reference.
    • Inclusion of Changes in Expected Use: For Example updated baseline energy forecast due to energy modelling refinement such as improved occupancy / use profiles.  
    • Inclusion of Unforeseeable Site Attributes: For Example significant deviations in the actual ground conditions compared to that expected based on Geotechnical Reports at the 85% design require more or less concrete piling.  These changes should be reflected in the Reference.  
    • New Input Data: For example updated environmental factors for energy, materials, transport, waste disposal etc should be included in the reference.  
  2. Proposed Design.  Include planned and committed strategies in this model, ideally modeled as scenarios in eToolLCD to improve transparency.  eTool recommend that this design is certified prior to progressing to the Proposed Design to avoid rework.  
  3. As Built. Start with the proposed design and record scenarios to reflect the updated quantities / inputs based on those reported from the construction. 

Note that a typical workflow in ISCA and Green Star projects is to start with the “Proposed Design” and work back to the “Baseline” by making changes that reflect business as usual practices.  This is also possible in eToolLCD but will significantly remove transparency associated with modelling scenarios hence the recommended pathway above as all “strategies” will be lumped together into one performance improvement.  This may be perfectly acceptable if there are a small number of strategies and they are relatively simple and the relative improvement associated with each strategy can still be described to the design team and decision makers. 

Certification (Independent Review)

It’s encouraged to seek certification of models early in the design process to ensure that the design team can consider strategies and target specific performance outcomes with confidence.  The normal eTool certification process will apply to Metronet projects.  The certification process will also satisfy the requirements of an ISO 14044 independant review required for Green Star and the ISCA LCA Pathway. 

eTool usually limit the number of certification in a single project to six however will remove this restriction for Metronet Projects if users are requesting the certification on one of the following designs:

  • Concept, 15% or 85% Baseline
  • Concept, 15% or 85%  Proposed
  • As Built Baseline
  • As Built Proposed
  • As Built

Additional Considerations

Additional considerations beyond EN15978 cut off rules which may be important for ISCA or Metronet Reporting include: 

  • Non potable and potable water.  Water used in the construction and repair / maintenance / replacement processes should be modelled as a material in the relevant category.  Water used operationally for irrigation or in buildings may be either modelled as a “Material” or an “Operational” Water input.
  • Annual maintenance consumables such as:
    • Petrol (eg inspection vehicles, garden maintenance) may be modelled as an “Equipment” item selecting petrol use.  
    • Diesel (eg inspection vehicles, garden maintenance) may be modelled as an “Equipment” item selecting diesel use.  
    • Gas may be modelled as an “Operational” item or an “Equipment” item selecting gas use.  
    • Water (eg street cleaning, sign cleaning, windows) may either be modelled as a “Material” or an “Operational” item.

Models will require the consideration of such things as cleaning which although may not breach environmental cut-off rules if excluded will have often have a large impact on life cycle costs.  Template costs may also need to be scaled to ensure that decisions being driven by life cycle cost outcomes are robust.  

Reporting

Metronet Quarterly Reporting

Metronet Quarterly Reporting requires a number of metrics to compiled.  The LCA model can assist with the below metrics found on the “Economy” tab of the reporting template:

  • Materials (Embodied)
    • Amount of tCO2-e GHG emissions embodied in materials brought in during construction
    • Amount of tCO2-e GHG emissions embodied in materials brought in after construction (end of life replacements)
  • Water
    • Total water use amount in construction
    • Potable water use amount in construction
    • Non-potable water use amount in construction
    • Total water use amount in operation: year 1
    • Total water use amount in operational design life
    • Potable water use amount in operational design life
    • Non-potable water use amount in operational design life
  • Energy
    • Amount of tCO2-e GHG emissions in energy for construction
    • Amount of operational electricity used from the grid in Year 1 – forecast
    • Amount of operational diesel used in Year 1 – forecast
    • Amount of operational petrol used in Year 1 – forecast
    • Amount of operational gas used in Year 1 – forecast
    • Amount of tCO2-e GHG emissions in energy for whole of operational period design life – forecast
    • Amount of tCO2-e GHG emissions in energy across whole of life

As the Metronet Quarterly Reporting Template will change over time eTool have summarised these metrics on a “Metronet” tab within the standard All Impacts Report that users can manually transfer to the Metronet Reporting Template.  The process is as follows: 

  1. Navigate to your reference in eToolLCD
  2. Via the “Reports” tab generate the “All Impacts Report”
  3. The All Impacts Report is an excel spreadsheet.  Once the report is complete, download the report and open the spreadsheet.
  4. View the “Metronet” sheet (tab) 
  5. Transfer the data in the report to your Metronet Quarterly Report template (provided by Metronet).  
  6. Repeat the above steps for your proposed design (and improved design if requested)

Greenstar

There are no special considerations for PTA / Metronet projects wishing to pursue Greenstar Ratings, that is, please follow the normal reporting processes for Green Star Projects.  For advice on Green Star Reporting see relevant posts on this eToolLCD support site and the Green Star manuals.  eToolLCD should satisfy all Green Star Requirements.

ISCA

For guidance on ISCA reporting, it is expected that the Metronet LCA Specification will satisfy ISCA requirements.    ISCA have published the LCA pathway document which largely aligns with the Metronet LCA Specification.  eTool are aligning data in August 2021.  

 

One Comment

  1. Patrick Jeannerat

    Thanks for summarising all this, Richard!

    Good advice incl. regarding what structure to set up the model.
    Note projects should also always check back with their METRONET lead agency regarding latest version of LCA specification, Base Case Framework and quarterly reporting template.

    Cheers, PJ

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