This guide is aimed at users that use the 'LCA, EN-15978' building LCA calculation tool. This tool is provided with the free student licenses, coursework licenses and available to any user if purchased separately. It allows you to to perform a Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment in line with the EN 15978 standard. It can also be used for component analysis, however it is not suitable for product or process LCA.
How to complete your assessment, a step-by-step guidance
1. Set your calculation period and building area
- Enter here the service life of the building required by the client or through regulations, for LCA this is also the reference study period/calculation period for the analysis. An often chosen calculation period is 60 years. This is the default calculation period in most BREEAM and LEED assessments.
- Enter the building area in the respective question form. Specify as a minimum gross internal floor area (GIFA). This will be used to provide results per 1 m2, in order to make a possible comparison between different projects. You can find out more about the building area here.
2. Enter your construction materials, site operations (A5), energy (B6) and water (B7) demands
- Fill in your project information in Construction materials question form by entering the design either manually or by importing your data (see different import options here; guidance for data import can be found here).
- If you need help finding the right datasets for your building materials, check our guidance pages for material selection and finding EPDs.
- Use net quantities (amounts of material installed in the building) which shall be accurate to +/- 5 %. For each material, you can adjust the service life based on your product, transportation distance and mode and use the Comment field for additional info (e.g. specify the construction element where the material belongs to). The resources are used for calculating A1-A3, B1-B5, C1-C4 and D modules.
- For construction site operations specify the climate region and construction site area (question 1 in Construction site operations question form) OR input manually project-specific information in the questions 2-5.
- Include project-specific data for annual energy (kWh/y) and water (m3/y) consumption.
3. Include compensation to local conditions (optional)
- Compensation to local conditions will recalculate your building material embodied impacts to a specific location. Using location energy mix, the tool will calculate as if all the construction materials were produced in the same country.
- If your LCA does not have such a requirement, you don’t have to use this feature. The purpose of such requirement (included for some green building certification schemes) is to promote the use of local building materials. Optionally you can include all construction materials using data filter for the country.
4. Click 'Results' to analyse your LCA
- The results will be reported as a generic overview of the impact categories and life cycle modules. You can download a detailed report by clicking 'More actions' followed by 'Detailed report' which enables you to download Excel file.
- Results are visualised for most contributing materials for each impact category, breakdown of GWP for different life cycle modules and graph of result accumulation over the service life of the building.
- More info on how to analyse your results can be found here.
- You can download a reporting template for EN 15978 LCA from the attachments.