Rating Schemes

As LCA of the built environment rapidly propagates as a standard component of sustainable design, most of the “Green Building” rating schemes around the world have begun to or/and have already integrated LCA into their credits and systems. eTool meets the requirements of many international schemes and has been successfully utilised to improve the rating performance for many projects all over the world. For projects aiming for any of the following ratings at any level, you will find that the points associated with the Life Cycle Impacts credit readily accessible via eTool. LCA will not only improve your design, it will also provide an efficient, stress-free and cost-effective solution to maximise your rating credits/points. The following is a list of schemes that we currently comply with.


Green Star (Buildings)

Cerclos has completed/peer reviewed over 100 projects registered for Green Star, including Green Star Buildings, Design & As Built, Interiors and Communities ratings.

Buildings (Positive credits): 12 points
Design & As Built: 7 points

Interiors: 19 points
Communities: 5 points


BREEAM (Buildings)

We have completed/peer reviewed over 100 projects registered for BREEAM, including UK New Construction and Refurbishment (2014 and 2018 versions) as well as International 2016.

BREEAM New Construction 2018:
– Mat 01 Building life cycle assessment (LCA): 7 credits + 3 exemplary
– Mat 06 Material efficiency: 1 credit
– Man 02 Life cycle cost and service life planning: 4 credits
– Ene 04 Low Carbon Design: 1 credit for LZC feasibility study

BREEAM New Construction 2014:
– Mat 01 Life cycle impacts: 2 exemplary credits
– Mat 06 Material efficiency: 1 credit
– Man 02 Life cycle cost and service life planning: 4 credits
– Ene 04 Low Carbon Design: 1 credit for LZC feasibility study

BREEAM UK Refurbishment 2014:
– Mat 01 Environmental impact of materials: 6 credits + 1 exemplary
– Mat 06 Material efficiency: 1 credit
– Man 02 Life cycle cost and service life planning: 4 credits
– Ene 04 Low Carbon Design: 1 credit for LZC feasibility study

BREEAM International:
– Mat 01 Life Cycle Impacts: up to 6 credits
– Mat 06 Material efficiency: 1 credit
– Man 02 Life cycle cost and service life planning: 4 credits
– Man 05 Management credits: 3 credits awarded for undertaking an ISO 15686 compliant life cycle costing analysis
– Ene 04 Low Carbon Design: 1 credit for LZC feasibility study


LEED (Buildings)

Cerclos has completed/peer reviewed over 20 projects registered for LEED.

LEED v.4.1
– Building Life Cycle Impact Reduction: 4 credits.


IS aka Infrastructure Sustainability (Infrastructure)

Projects aiming for IS rating can use Life Cycle Assessment as an alternative pathway for the materials credit Mat-1 (IS v.1.2) or Rso-6 (IS v2.0). Cerclos’ expertise combined with software users in Australia and New Zealand are helping to promote the use of LCA in the Infrastructure Sustainability certification scheme. Find eTool in iSupply register to read more.

Applications in IS rating:
– Mat-1 Materials lifecycle impact measurement and reduction (IS v1.2)
– RSO-6 Material Life cycle Impact (IS V2.0)
3-in-1 LCA for ISCA*
Life Cycle Costing (LCC) for ISCA*
*Additional credits supported by LCA that are currently under discussion with ISCA.


CHEEQUAL (Infrastructure)

UK & Ireland Projects projects aiming for CEEQUAL rating can use Life Cycle Assessment to target various credits.

– Management 1.5 Whole Life Costing
– Resources 7.2 Reducing Whole Life Carbon Emissions
– Resources 7.3 Environmental impact of construction product
– Resources 7.7 Energy Use
– Resources 7.8 Water Use

Additional credits can be supported by LCA methodology including:
– 1.2 Environmental Management
– 1.3 Responsible Construction Management
– 7.1 Strategy for resource efficiency
– 7.4 Circular use of construction products



Level(s) is a sustainability reporting framework with 3 broad categories

  • Level 1 Common performance assessment – simple and accessible
  • Level 2 Comparative performance assessment – making comparisons against functionally equivalent buildings (such as eTool Benchmarks)
  • Level 3 Performance optimisation assessment – Completing detailed assessment and analysis of design options to improve performance

Against each category, the following “macro-objective” indicators are measured

  1. Greenhouse gas emissions along a buildings life cycle
  2. Resource efficient and circular material life cycles
  3. Efficient use of water resources
  4. Healthy and comfortable spaces
  5. Adaptation and resilience to climate change
  6. Optimised life cycle cost and value

*eTool is perfectly set-up to report against those shown in bold

We have long had fully automated reporting to EN15978 standards (required for our Green Star work). Our peer-reviewed reports cover everything required for an EN15978 compliant LCA from goal and scope to cut-off rules, performance against benchmark and design improvement recommendations. An example EN15978 report can be found here. Our design life cycle inventory and materials summary reports provide detailed breakdowns of materials used in the LCA/LCC, their quantities and categorisation. The unique template system used in eTool means that ISO15686 compliant life-cycle cost analysis can be undertaken by switching on our recently established cost datasets.

Cerclos applauds the framework defined in Level(s) following the now long established methodology of EN15978 – Sustainability of construction works.


Living Building Challenge

The US-based Living Building Challenge (LBC) is a building certification program, advocacy tool and philosophy that aims to rapidly diminish the gap between current limits and the end-game positive solutions we seek. The Challenge is comprised of seven performance categories called Petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Petals are subdivided into a total of twenty Imperatives, each of which focuses on a specific sphere of influence.

Under the “Materials” petal, proponents are required to conduct an “Embodied Carbon Footprint” and eTool is currently listed as one of three recommended tools to meet these strict requirements.


BioRegional – One Planet Living

The One Planet Living approach and ten principles framework is a simple way to plan, deliver, communicate and mainstream sustainable development and the green economy.


UDIA – EnviroDevelopment

EnviroDevelopment is a scientifically-based branding system designed to make it easier for purchasers to recognise and, thereby, select more environmentally sustainable developments and lifestyles. Facilitated by the Urban Development Institute of Australia, EnviroDeveloment has embraced LCA as way of genuinely quantifying the impacts of a property development to obtain the “Materials” credit within the scheme.


DGNB – German Sustainable Building Council

The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V.) was founded in 2007 by 16 initiators from various subject areas within the construction and real-estate sectors. The aim was to promote sustainable and economically efficient building even more strongly in future. Life Cycle Assessment forms a core component of the “Environmental Quality” Catalogue and eTool is in the process of gaining compliance with the DGNB LCA requirements.

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