What are the project parameters?
For building and infrastructure projects you will need to set up calculation parameters before you start. Among these are life-cycle assessment and life-cycle costing parameters. The LCA and LCC parameters will ensure that your calculations use correct default values where applicable. The parameters are a set of calculation rules which apply to all designs in a single project.
You can fill in or modify the Parameters to ensure you are using the correct default values.
If you are unsure of which settings to use, you can also use the default values, which are based on the location of the project. These values can always be edited later.
Setting up your LCA parameters
Which LCA parameters can you change?
Service life values
Each material row in your assessment will use a certain service life to calculate its impacts for replacement and disposal (B4-B5 category). Here you can define the default service life that is automatically applied to every material in the calculation. The default value will be ignored if you change the service life manually in the 'Building materials' question form. You can read more about service life here.
- Technical service life - In the technical service life, it is assumed that the same type of materials has the same service life setting. The technical service life represents how long materials last in good conditions and this service life setting is the recommended default.
- Commercial service life - The commercial service life setting should be selected when doing retail or hotel projects, in which the service life of the interior (and other materials) is shorter. E.g flooring and finishes will be replaced more often with this service life setting.
- Product-specific service life - With this service life setting the service life values vary per manufacturer and the settings from the EPD will be used. Choose this service life setting for DGNB, E+C- and MPG calculations.
- RICS default service life - With this service life setting the service life values will take the recommended values from the RICS guidance.
Step 1: Choose your service life setting
Transportation distance - default values for materials
Each material row in your assessment will use a certain transportation mode and distance from the building material manufacturer to the building site to calculate its transportation impacts. Here you can define the default transportation distances that are automatically applied to every material in the calculation. The default value will be ignored if you change the input manually in the 'Building materials' question form. The profiles will have default distances and modes of transport depending on the profile chosen. The available options are as follows.
- Nordic - Setting for projects in the Nordics. Will have distances typical for transport in the Nordics and default modes of transportation.
- European - Setting for projects throughout Europe. Will have distances typical for transport in the Europe and default modes of transportation.
- UK - Setting for projects in the UK. Will have distances typical for transport in the United Kingdom and default modes of transportation.
- UK - RICS - Setting for RICS or GLA projects in the UK. Will have distances typical for transport according to RICS and specific modes of transportation.
- Canadian - Setting for projects in Canada. Will have distances typical for transport in Canada and default modes of transportation.
- US (miles) - Setting for projects in the US. Will have distances typical for transport in the US and default modes of transportation.
- Australian - Setting for projects in Australia. Will have distances typical for transport in Australia and default modes of transportation. Several specific modes of transportation are available for Australia as well which can be manually selected in the building materials query.
- Global - Setting for any project which is not covered by any of the above regions. Will have global average distances and modes of transport. This may not be accurate for every project location on the globe and therefore we recommend at minimum updating the transport distances.
Step 2: Choose your default transportation values
Material manufacturing localization method
Each material in your assessment has its manufacturing impacts largely defined by the energy profile of its manufacturing country. Here you can select the local compensation factor, which adjusts the impacts of material manufacturing in another country to represent manufacturing in the chosen location.
The material manufacturing localization method solves the lack of local environmental profiles for projects all over the world. It adjusts automatically manufacturing electricity to the local electricity mix so that you can always get more representative results for your projects. It is important to note that this does not change the manufacturing process fuel mix (e.g. from coal or oil to natural gas). The process applies only to electricity as that invariably changes between locations of manufacturing, while the same process fuels may be used in plants making similar products across the globe.
We use a data regionalization methodology according to CEN/TR 15941:2010 to adjust the emissions to match with local manufacturing conditions. It is recommended for BREEAM calculations. If you want to learn more about this, please check the following article: Material Manufacturing Localisation.
You have the following options.
- Disable material localization - Use this setting if you do not want to localize any data. One Click LCA generic resources will always have to be localized.
- v1.0 Recommended - This is the recommended setting in which the material manufacturing localization is applied.
- V2.0 BETA - This is the new setting which we are still working on, which will be more accurate as compared to v1.0 As we are still working on this changes may still occur to it's methodology, so use this with care until this becomes the new recommended setting.
- Changing the electricity profile - You will have the option to change the chosen electricity profile, which causes the data to be localized using a different electricity mix which will likely have a different emission factor. By default the latest electricity profile is already selected.
Step 3: Choose your material manufacturing localization target
End of life calculation method
The end of life calculation method influences your C1-C4 and D phase emissions. The default end of life calculation method is our material-locked scenario. The end of life settings have no effect on calculation tools which have a mandated End of Life method such as DGNB, IMPACT, E+C- and MPG. You will have the following options.
- Material-locked (recommended) - With this end of life method you will have grouped C1-C4 end of life emissions which cannot be changed. Read more about that here. End of Life Scenarios for construction products. This method is current the recommended version as it is no longer updated and hence data cannot change.
- Market scenarios, user adjustable (beta) - With this more advanced end of life method you will have C2, C3 and C4 emissions depending on the material subtype. The default option is chosen based on the standard practice on the market. Expert users are able to adjust the scenarios row by row or choose EPD EoL scenarios if available.
- Use EPD EOL scenario, user adjustable (beta) - With this end of life method you will use the EoL scenario as defined in the EPD (if available). If none are available it will default to market scenarios. Expert users are able to adjust the scenarios row by row or choose market scenarios for products.
Expert license users are able to adjust the end of life modelling if the calculation tool does not mandate an EOL method. This additional setting is explained further in the following article: User-Adjustable End of Life Modelling
Which LCC parameters can you change?
Select the project country in the first question and click 'Load regional parameters'.
This will automatically populate all the fields in the question form with our default country-specific values, however you will be still able to modify every field. You should check as a minimum:
- Exchange rate (expressed against 1 Euro)
- Hourly labour rate worker (the average hourly labour cost for a low skilled worker)
- Hourly labour rate craftsman (the average hourly labour cost for a high skilled worker)
You can read more about the LCC method and data here.