Witchcliffe Ecovillage – RapidLCA Guidance

Witchcliffe Eco Village is targeting carbon negative buildings as described in their design guidelines.  Our streamlined life cycle assessment app will be used to easily measure the life cycle environmental performance of your designs.  

Why was the app created?

  • The eTool business, like Witchcliffe Ecovillage is passionate about the planet
  • Life cycle design is an amazing tool for reducing environmental impacts cost effectively
  • Demand was growing strongly and there was a gap in the market for residential buildings
  • The potential is incredible, by applying life cycle design in your design it’s easy to achieve very low carbon outcomes.  Australia could save over 20MtCO2 per year with life cycle design.  That’s 740 billion ballons full of of CO2 gas we can prevent!

What is it? 

RapidLCA gathers your design inputs and estimates the life cycle environmental and cost impacts.  The app streamlines Life Cycle Assessment, an otherwise very complex process bringing life cycle design to everybody. 

  • Environmental and cost optimisation
  • Whole building, whole of life
  • Aligned with international standards
  • Fast and cost effective

How does it work? 

Built for you, the app gives incredibly accurate environmental performance feedback on your design in just 20 minutes.  It accessed on any browser or downloaded as an app on IOS or Android smart phones.  The app itself will guide you through the process of your LCA (see below for how the app is accessed across web, Android and Apple Devices).  Here is a summary video that explains the process briefly.  

Witchcliffe EcoVillage Targets 

Witchcliffe Eco Village have set carbon target beyond zero.  That is, each home in the village over its life cycle will avoid or offset more greenhouse gas emissions than it produces.  The scope of the life cycle assessment is outlined in the below diagram.  The specific target that has been set is -220kgCO2e / occupant / year.  The app (at present) expresses this as a percentage saving verse a benchmark residence, the target being a 105% saving.

Accessing the App

Web Access: 

Simply navigate to lifecycle.house in any browser to access the app.

Android Mobiles: 

Iphone and Ipad: 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Richard Haynes

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for your feedback. Answers below:

    1) Good idea, thanks for that we’ll look at adding that option.
    2) Yes, good observation. The ability to add and delete components is coming up. An interim workaround is to input a quantity of 0.00001 which effectively removes the component from the calculations. However, there should be some kind of heating and cooling device accounted for in the LCA, even if you don’t intend on installing any. The methodology here is that we’re trying to assess the impacts with the average occupant, and over the whole (in WEV’s case 100 year +) life span. Over that period it’s likely that some of the occupants are going to want to control the temperature somehow. Of course if you have a 10 star house, the actual cooling and heating loads are going to be hardly noticeable so there won’t be a lot of impacts associated with the energy of the heating and cooling. Are you installing ceiling fans? This is what I would input there in lieu of “nothing”.
    3) The appliances are all the plug loads (white goods, TVs, other devices, small appliances etc). These can’t be changed.
    4) Quantity is kW, this will be exposed in the next version. Actually, I think for new users who start a new design this will already be exposed.
    5) That’s interesting, somehow that roof component has become uncoupled from the roof category. I think this may have been related to an early version of the baseline design as I can’t seem to duplicate the issue now. Nevertheless I’ve updated the roof to 30 degrees (which is our closest match and material quantities should be within 5%)
    6) I’m seeing a Strawbale option and some Hempcrete options. There’s so many selections through I’m searching for them by starting to type in the top field. I’ve changed the external wall to Strawbale for you.
    7) As above, not sure what you wanted the internal walls to be though so have left them as is.
    8) Symbols are just placeholders at the moment, we’ll update these so every component in future will have its own photo or symbol. Having said that though I can see some of the components on this view have also been decoupled from the relevant internal finishes category. I think to be safe I’d perhaps like to reset the design to the baseline again, I’ll call to discuss how we can do this without losing any of you work.
    9) Will be available once we reset.
    Speak to you soon. Rich

    1. Fei Ngeow

      I would suggest that in light of the study being over the life of the whole building (i.e. 100+ years) that ‘no system’ for cooling & heating should NOT be allowed to be entered unless the thermal performance IS 10 stars. This is to educate and steer designers/users towards lower carbon choices (i.e. ceiling fans and wood heaters) rather than the opt out option of nothing installed (i.e. leave it to the occupants to decide which most often would be an extremely energy intensive electric heater) even though the building’s thermal performance isn’t great.

  2. Karen Majer

    Hi Richard, you asked for feedback on the app, so here are some feedback comments and questions. I think I’m going quite well!
    1. Our house is classed as single story with mezzanine – could you add that category? I know there are others.
    2. Several of the items won’t allow Zero as an answer. eg air conditioner. It says I have to put in a valid number so I’ve been putting 1 where that happens. But we don’t plan to have air con.
    3. What does Appliances residential average number mean?
    4. Solar PV – is quantity mW, number of panels?
    5. There doesn’t seem to be a way of changing roof pitch? It says 25 deg – ours is 35 (and clicking on it seems to go to doors)
    6. External walls – no choices for rendered strawbale or hemp?
    7. Internal walls – no choice for perimeter walls being rendered strawbale?
    8. I don’t understand the floor covering items – the different symbols
    9. Choice to select timber floor (our mezzanine)?
    THANKS With your assistance we hope to submit this with everything else this week 🙂

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