Validated Templates

What is a Validated Template?

The eTool software allows you to conduct a life cycle assessment of a whole building quickly and accurately. To quantify the environmental impacts of a whole building over its whole life is not a trivial exercise. eTool has made the process manageable. Conducting a Life cycle assessment is becoming a normal part of the design process.  This is made possible by the depth and breadth of templates available in the eTool Template Library.

A Template is the term we use to describe the logical grouping of elements, e.g. a concrete block wall.

Within the Template Library, there are private, public and validated templates. Public templates will feature the ‘globe’ icon next to it while validated templates will feature the ‘thumbs-up’ icon.

As a user, you can maintain the privacy of your templates if you choose to. However, we encourage you to Request Validation of your templates. This will initiate a process where an eTool Certifier will review the template and once it is has passed an QA check, it will be Validated. The template then becomes Public and Validated. It will show the Thumbs Up symbol alongside the title when viewed in the Library browser.

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Validation Outcomes – Why do you want to validate your template?

There are a number of reasons why you may wish to submit your template for validation. Depending on what these are, the outcome of the validation process may vary.

Here are some of the main reasons why you would submit your template for validation:

  • To contribute to the eTool public template library
  • Check that the custom template created has been put together correctly for a specific project that has been submitted for certification
  • Review a template that is to be shared only within the organisation

Depending on why you need to get your template validated, below are the 3 different outcomes that you may choose:

  1. Template is reviewed, validated and made public
  2. Template is reviewed and made public but not validated
  3. Template is only reviewed and assigned to the organisation but not validated

In the first two outcomes above, the template will be locked to prevent all users including the template creator from modifying the templates. Only in the last outcome will the template be editable by the template creator.

In order to get your template fully validated (i.e. option 1), not just reviewed, your template will need to meet certain criteria such as having full references, clear description with full disclosure of all assumptions and references used. The template ideally also needs to be applicable for any project or location. This is to ensure that any eTool user will be able to understand what the template is and to clone and adjust the template should a need arise. The rest of the support post below will provide further details.

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How to Submit Your Template for Validation

So you’ve created a custom template – well done! Once you’re satisfied that your template is complete, you should submit it for Validation which is as simple as hitting the ‘Validate’ button in the drop down menu under the ‘Action’ button in the template.

  1. Prior to submitting your template for validation, we recommend the following checks to conduct a self-review:
    • Have references been provided for your assumptions?
      • Wherever you see red flags, it is an indication that references need to be provided to justify the inputs. Click on the flags to add reference (if you have one). You can either use one from the reference library or add your own reference by clicking ‘New Reference’. Note that you can use online articles as your reference.
    • Is the template description adequately detailed to explain your assumptions and quantities used to construct your templates?
    • Does the template description sufficiently describe what the template is in order to be useful for other users? (make sure you clarify any location related factors that affect your template as our libraries are accessed by users all over the world)
    • Is the unit for the template quantity practical or scalable? (i.e. is it more useful to have the poured concrete template in m3 or m2?)
    • Take into consideration how the template unit will affect certain assembly and equipment inputs (i.e. does the assembly time scale-up at the same rate as the material quantity?)
    • Compare your template with a similar validated/global template in the library for consistency. You may note this comparison in your template description.
  2. The Reviewer will go through the review of your template in a process similar to certifying a design.
  3. Once your template has been Validated, the Reviewer will save your template as a global template which means it will be publically available for all users unless you’ve specified one of the other outcomes above.
  4. Note that there is a large number of templates to be validated therefore it may take awhile to be processed. If you have completed the self-review above, please shoot us an email to expedite the validation of your template.

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Notes on Referencing 

We highly recommend that you refer to other similar and validated templates to get more information on assumptions and references. Often depending on the material you choose, it will populate your template with information that is based on industry average data. For example, the recycled content or recycling rate for steel. These figures actually have references in some of the validated templates, so all you need to do is to use them in your template if you’re going to stick with the default figures. Often times you can also use the same assembly ( People and Equipment) assumptions for similar products, then you can use the same references for that too. You’ll just need to provide some justification in the template description on why you’ve based your figures on those assumptions.

Below are some referenced and validated templates that you can refer to for some common data references. Otherwise, all you need to do is to search for a similar validated template in our library for other templates that may be more appropriate.


What is involved in the process of Template Validation?

The key points in the Quality Assurance process we use to validate templates include:

  • Read the Description (under the Details tab) and follow any links to external documents or sources of information. The creator of the template should include enough information in the Description to allow an independent verification of the material types and quantities and explain any formulas used
  • Check the material quantities in the Template, comparing against supplied references and or similar Templates in the Library
  • Check the overall impact of the Template compares reasonably to functional equivalents
  • Check the Library Template Quantity by inserting the template into a test design and confirming the calculated quantities behave as expected
  • Work through the details of any checks that fail with the template author until the Template passes all checks

The eTool Template Library provides a rich knowledge resource to all of our users. We encourage you to create new Templates where you see a gap in the Library and to get these templates Validated.

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Related topics:

How to Create Templates, Template Categories, Template LCIs, What is a ‘New Template’ and ‘Template Library Quantity’?, Materials Take-Off,

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