If you have purchased a subscription to One Click LCA and would like to book a kick-off training, please check the following link: Scheduling a kick-off training
This guide is intended to allow users to start with using One Click LCA without attending a kick-off training, and covers Building LCA specific modules. Useful if you have are not eligible for a training, have not purchased a training or simply do not have the time to attend a training.
|1. Getting Started||2. Data input||3. Results||4. Import||5. Support|
One Click LCA
|Building Materials||Impact Categories||Excel Import||Workflow|
|Creating a New Project||Energy consumption||LCA stages||Import Settings||Help Centre|
|Selecting Tools||Water consumption||Compare Designs||Import Classification||Contacting Support|
|Creating a New Design||Construction Site Operations||Carbon Heroes Benchmark||Import Filtering|
|Setting up LCA Parameters||Emissions & Removals||LCA Checker||Import Combining|
|Setting up LCC Parameters||Calculation Period||Most Contributing Materials||Import Review|
|Carbon Designer Set-Up||Building Area||Graphics||Import Mapping|
|Tool specific queries||Generating Reports||Revit Import|
1. Getting Started
Accessing One Click LCA
The easiest way to log-in to our software is to go to our website (https://www.oneclicklca.com/) and then click log in. If you have not created your account yet, you will be able to do so there as well.
On the main screen when you log into One Click LCA, you’ll be able to see the projects that you’ve created. Underneath you will find some demo projects you can view. On the left hand side you have our updates, including our weekly database updates, and new features as well as some basic guidance articles for the software.
Creating a New Project
To create a new project, click the add button on the top, and then click the building option to start a new building LCA. You first need to give our project some basic information, starting with the name. You need to also specify the building type; this is used for benchmarking and plausibility checks. You also need to select the country the project is taking place in. The other fields are optional and more for your reference.
You can go ahead and specify your frame type at this point, or can still do it later when creating the design for your project. You can also choose to upload an image if you’d like, and note which certifications you are pursuing, however that won’t make a difference in your calculations, because it will depend on which tools you have available on your license. The most important thing to do on this page is link the project to your license so you will have access to the tools you need. Then click save. If you need to change anything in here later, you can click ‘More Actions’ then Modify to take us back to this set-up page. Guidance: Creating A Project
Next click the ‘Get Started’ button, and our available calculation tools will pop up for you to select from. You can select multiple tools for a project as long as the data is compatible.
Create The First Design
Set up the first project by filling in the name, the stage of construction and scope of the design.
You can also copy your design, for example if you wanted to copy your design and make a few changes to be able to compare the impacts you could do that. You would go back to the homepage of our project, click on the design name and then copy.
Guidance: Creating and Copying Designs
Setting up Parameters
When you click next, the next thing we’ll be asked about is our LCA parameters. You can just use the default parameters if you want, but you can also review and adjust them. Guidance: Selecting Project Parameters
Service life value for materials
The first thing to consider with our LCA parameters is our service life values for materials. This uses the technical service life as a default, which is the expected service life based on the material type and classification. Commercial service life is slightly reduced; for example if you were modelling a hotel, the carpet may have to be replaced more frequently than in another type of building due to higher foot traffic. You also have product specific service life which varies based on the manufacturer, so it will use that information if it’s available. You also have RICS specific service life for if you were doing RICS calculations. Guidance: Service Life of Materials
Transportation distance default values for materials
Next option is our default transportation distances. You should select where you are doing the project, and later in our building materials query this will be set as the default.
Material manufacturing localisation method
Next thing to consider is our material manufacturing localisation method, which is useful when we’re doing LCAs in areas where there may not be a lot of EPD or material data - this tool swaps out the grid electricity mix from the manufacturing process and replaces that with your chosen localisation target. In the settings here, you are able to disable this if you like, use version 1 which is our recommended option, and then you have version 2 which is slightly more accurate but is still in BETA testing. As it is currently being worked on, there is a possibility that if you choose this option, your calculations could change, which is why we recommend version 1 for now.
Material manufacturing localisation target
Additionally, you need to select our manufacturing localisation target. This will automatically be where you indicated your project was taking place, but then you will also have various electricity profiles to select from as well.
End of life calculation method
Last thing to consider is our end of life calculation method. You have a few options to select from here. Material locked is the typical end of life based on the material. Market scenarios or EPD EOL scenarios are also options, however these are still in beta, and only expert licenses have the ability to adjust these on an item level which will be discussed in the building materials query. If you did select one of the other options, you would then be able to adjust the end of life energy recovery based on a selection of energy profiles. Click save at the top to save these changes.
You do have some guidance articles available on this page highlighted in green throughout that go into a bit more depth if you are looking to learn more.
LCC Parameters (Only if you have a Life-Cycle Costing tool)
If you want to make changes to your set-up design information, you can click on the design name and if you want to make any changes to the LCA parameters you just set, you can do that from Parameters.
Select your country from the list, and you will need to define the labour rates and discount factors on your own. Section 3 and 4 are automatically filled but you will need to fill in section 5. If you want to learn more about this, you can click the link to our guidance articles.
Carbon Designer can be useful to make a quick reference building or a benchmark building to then later compare and copy and modify and make small changes. You can also find it on the import data button at the top of the building materials query, or by clicking input data on your main project page and then ‘Carbon Designer’.
You can import your areas from an Excel document if desired and there is a template available.
You can select a reference building most relevant to your project. The GFA and floors would be copied over here if you set them when setting up your project.
Under more options, you can select underground heated or unheated floors, earthquake zone structures and foundations. If you have private constructions, checking this box enables using them here. The basic model uses generic resources, but checking this will enable you to swap for your constructions if you’d like in the carbon designer tool.
Click 'calculate areas', and you can now modify the area structures manually and the building dimensions if needed. Changing the building dimensions will change the building structures, but adjusting the structures won’t affect the dimensions. If you hover your mouse over the question marks, they can give you more information about that item. You have to click calculate areas every time you change something to affect the change.
When you are happy with your design, you can click create a baseline. You now have a graphic for the baseline model. You can click select groupings to change this view. For example, if you can see that a lot of the emissions come from floor slabs, maybe you can change that to an alternative option. You can then see what the reduction in emissions would be. You can click edit to modify the material choices within the construction. You can click show all options if you want to create a mixed structure.
Then you can set the current choices by scrolling to the bottom and setting it as the baseline. When you are ready, you can save design to query. You have the option to merge and keep the materials already in your building materials query (if you already have any materials there), or you can choose to overwrite everything there.
2. Data Input
To enter your building materials, you can click ‘Input data’ beside the tool you’re using, then ‘Building Materials’, then you can begin to input the materials you are using in your design.
When it comes to searching for materials manually, there are a couple ways to do that. Depending on where in your building the material is going, you need to do the search in the right search input box, i.e. foundations and substructure, vertical structures and façade. If you start typing a generic name, you’re likely going to get many results back, and will need to further specify what you are looking for by clicking the appropriate category. You can click the green question mark beside a material to read more information about the material by opening the data card. You can open multiple data cards if you would like to compare different materials in more detail. With the business or expert license, you can see more information in this data card, such as details on the impact category, and click to download the EPD itself. Guidance: Data Cards
We recommend first searching by the EPD number if you have it, then manufacturer then material name.
When we’re searching for the data, we’ll see different data types. You’re first presented with local generic data you can select from, then underneath is local manufacturer specific data, then regional generic data, then regional manufacturer specific data. Localisation will be applied to anything selected.
When you’re selecting your materials, you can use the filters available at the top of the page to help you narrow down your search. You can select the material type, the country, the data source, data type, upstream, CO2 equivalent performance, unit type and properties. The filters automatically apply when selected - don’t forget to take off the filters if you are done with them!
You can see all the materials you input as individual data rows. For each material, you can see details about it, such as quantity, quantity type and more. You can also put in your transportation method for the material. Service life is also available to adjust, for example as building or a shorter time period.
With the expert license, you can see a bit more about the CO2e by clicking on it, then seeing how it is broken down into materials, transportation, etc. You can also click see calculations to see how this is being calculated.
Guidance: Detailed Calculations Mechanics
You have the option to copy, delete, lock, replace and split materials.
Copying the material makes an exact copy of it below.
Deleting it will remove it from your query.
Locking it will make it un-editable so you can’t accidentally make changes to it. You can go ahead and unlock the material if you want to edit it after locking it.
The replace function is quite helpful if you’re doing different versions of buildings and switching materials out for better performing ones. This could also be used if you had an unidentified material you imported with your excel or revit import. Clicking replace will bring up a window and allow you to find a material to replace the one you have selected. This will keep the characteristics you had for that material, but will just switch out the material to the new one you select.
The split function works quite similarly, so this can be helpful for example if you have a model that didn’t include rebar in it yet. For example, you’d search a rebar that you want to use, then you can set the percentage share that you want the rebar to be. This will calculate what that should be and subtract it from the original material as well. You can split a material several times if needed, so this could be used for example if you wanted to make your own concrete or cement mix.
Guidance: Changing a Resource (Replace and Split)
You also have the ability to move materials, for example if you put them in the wrong spot in your query, you can click ‘move resources’, then click the box beside the material and select where you want to move it to. Guidance: Moving Materials Between Sections
You also have the ability to create groupings as well, so if you have for example internal walls, and you know that for one square meter, you have a certain amount of gypsum board, a certain amount of stubs and insulation, you can add those manually, then click and drag over multiple materials and right click ‘create a group’. This creates a construction and you can then set a group name and give a reference quantity and save this group for your company if wanted. You can now see the group name in a material row, and the construction symbol, plus the + symbol to show that this construction can expand. As you adjust the total quantity, it then adjusts how much of each individual material is in that construction. You can unbundle as well by clicking change on the right then unbundle. The quantities will remain the same as what was set.
Grouping materials guidance: Group Materials As Constructions
Private Construction guidance: Private Constructions
With the expert license, you can see CO2 rankings as small coloured clouds on the data cards, which indicate how well they do compared to others in the same material category in terms of global warming potential. You can also click see full ranking which creates a pop up and shows you in more detail how this item ranks compared to others in the category. Dark green is the best performing and dark red is the worst performing and the materials ranking in between that follow a gradient from green to red. With an expert license, you’ll be able to see the CO2 clouds when searching for materials as well to help you make your choices.
Guidance: Green Material Benchmarks
With the expert license, you have the ability to adjust the localisation for each row of your materials. If one of your materials is actually coming from a different location, you can go and select that location and then an energy profile of the country then model it as if the material was made using the energy mix selected in that country.
End of Life Modelling
The end of life selected is based on the selection you made in the LCA parameters, a default has been selected, but with an expert license, you can again choose to change it for each individual row in the building query.
Accounting for reused / salvaged materials
You can click the reused material box if you will be using reused material. This will include the transportation but will exclude the A1-A3 impacts.
Guidance: Accounting for re-used materials
Expert uses have a private data function as well where you can input your own data. This can be accessed from your company profile.
Guidance: Adding Private Data
Guidance: Private Constructions
With an expert license, you can also compare resources in a bit more depth. When searching for resources, you can click the check box beside them then click ‘add to compare’. Now, you can go click “Compare Data” at the top to compare all the resources you selected you wanted to compare. You can now see a detailed comparison between the resources through graphs.
Guidance: Advanced material comparison
Export to excel
You also have the option to export your building material query to Excel at any point by clicking more actions then downloading an Excel file which will give you a bill of materials of anything you had listed and all the details such as quantity and comments that you had input about them which you could then use to re import later.
Guidance: Downloading Query Data in Excel format
This is an annual number for energy consumption, the number you input will be multiplied by the calculation period, the service life of the building.
Clicking the dropdown arrow for the electricity use search bar will give you options for electricity profiles to select from and you can then input how much electricity will be used on an annual basis. You can also specify a use case for the electricity, i.e. for heating, cooling. You can also account for fuel demands under the second heading, i.e. the quantity of diesel being used on an annual basis. District heating and cooling can also be included below. Exported energy could be used to account for renewables e.g. PV panels. This would be applied to the D stage, and is often not subtracted from the LCA results.
Guidance: Energy Impacts (B6)
This is an annual number for water consumption, the number you input will be multiplied by the calculation period, the service life of the building.
You have various profiles here you can select from the dropdown menu.
Construction site operations
There are two ways to deal with this query. If it’s early stage and you’re not sure exactly what is happening on site yet, you can use one of our scenarios of average construction site impacts based on gross floor area. This works similarly for deconstruction scenarios.
If you do know what’s happening on site, you would instead input your information into the sections below the scenarios with the details. You should use only construction scenarios OR put in the detailed information below, otherwise you will be duplicating some information.
Guidance: Construction Site Operations
Emissions and removals
Here you can account for refrigerant leakages, carbonisation and vegetation carbon withdrawals. You can select from the dropdown menu for your options.
This is the service life of the building, 60 years is typical.
Guidance: Service Life of Materials
The last thing to consider is the building area, the warning in red will tell you which item from the dropdown you need for the calculation. You can click the warning to input that item.
Guidance: Building Area
Tool specific queries
Some calculation tools have queries which are specific to that tool only, e.g. circularity weighing factors, operational transport or decarbonization factors. Check the local tool guidance for information on how to handle such queries.
Now that you have inputted information for all of your queries, you can look at the results page.
Here you can see all the different impact categories and how much your building contributes to each. You can adjust the viewing of your results in scientific or decimal numbers by using the more actions button at the top.
Guidance: Impact Assessment Categories
Life Cycle Stages
You can also see this divided by Life Cycle Stages to see how much each stage contributes, with your total numbers at the bottom. You can click ‘More Actions’ then ‘One Click LCA Results Report’ up at the top to download a detailed version of the results. You can click details to get further information about any of these impact categories.
Guidance: Life Cycle Stages
Carbon Heroes benchmark
You also have our carbon heroes benchmark which is generated based on the type of building you selected and where you said your project was taking place. This is a comparison of similar designs in our software. Guidance: Carbon Heroes Benchmarks
Completeness and Plausibility Checker (LCA Checker)
This part of the results page sums up how plausible your building is based on the inputs you have put in, for example if the amount of concrete you put seems reasonable. This is based on a typical building of the same size and make. For a typical building of this size and type it would expect specific ranges and thresholds for values and amounts of certain materials, and so this checker makes sure those fit in those thresholds. The software will give a warning if something seems implausible. This doesn’t affect your calculations, but is there more to give you an idea if you’re on the right track.
Guidance: LCA Checker, Ensuring LCA Quality
Most Contributing Materials
You can also see your most contributing materials that produce the most Global Warming Potential. This is based on the A1-A3 stages. You can use this to make an assessment of which materials are causing the most emissions in your project, and view sustainable alternatives.
If you continue down, you have some overview graphs in pie, bar, column and tree maps. These are also interactive as well so if you hover over them you can see the numbers associated with them, and you can click a part of the graph to temporarily remove it and take a closer look at the other part of the graph. These are downloadable in several formats as well.
In the bubble graph, you can see a visualization by impact by resource type. You are able to see your data in several different ways through the graphs.
Underneath this is the data sources - although this isn’t exportable as an excel file, you can copy and it pastes well into an excel chart if needed.
You will be able to generate a results Excel report in every tool. The format of these results reports depend on the chosen calculation tool. This is available while on the results page.
With the expert license, you can generate a Word report which has a bit more background information on the tool, the methodology and you can add information about your project as well.
Guidance: Create Automated Word Reports
With the 'compare designs' button you will be able to get a percental comparison between two designs.
If you have more than one design, you will be able to scroll down on the main page of your project and see a comparison of your designs side-by-side. If you only want to compare some of your designs, you can also click to hide the ones you don’t want to include in the comparison.
4. Importing to One Click LCA
The next thing to cover is adding data to our project. If you click on ‘input data’ beside the tool you want to use, you can see the various queries that are required, with the mandatory fields having a red arrow, then additional optional queries as well. Underneath that you have our import options, from excel and another software, which links you to a guidance article which goes through the various software you can import from and tells you how to do that.
In theory, you could use your own Excel file, however you have templates available in the guidance article which have the Excel file set up to accept the import correctly. We recommend using the latest template in our Excel guidance article to import your data from Excel.
If you wanted to use your own excel file, you would need to have a CLASS column, an IFCMATERIAL column, a QUANTITY column and a QTY_TYPE column. The rest of the columns should be filled in with the software provided the first four fields have been filled out.
If you are planning to use our template, download the template from our article.
Guidance: Import from Excel file
See below for more details on the most important columns in the Excel file to pay attention to.
|CLASS||One of the benefits of our template file as well is that it has dropdown boxes for the class field so you can select from that. This field is mandatory so that the materials are placed in the correct section of the building materials query.|
|IFCMATERIAL||In this column, provide as much information as possible which will help with mapping it to the data in our software. Try to avoid being too generic, it won’t map if it's too generically named.|
|QTY||We require the quantity of the material to ensure emissions can be calculated.|
|QTY_TYPE||There is a dropdown menu here again for you to select from, we recommend selecting from volume, mass or area, and you’ll get better matches that way.|
|Other optional columns, e.g. COMMENT||
It would be good to put any details here about where the material is being used in the building, which can help you later if you need to adjust anything to identify what was used where.
The other columns may not be relevant to you depending on your tool or project, so you can just remove them if they are not needed.
To import that file, click input data under the design you want to use, then import Excel. Attach the file, then click continue.
Along the top, you can see the various stages of the import, and you can see that ‘review manually’ has not been selected for all of them, but you definitely need to do the combine and the mapping phases.
From where we’ve selected to start our importing process, it knows which project you want to import this to, but you can change that here in settings if you want. If you’re working with multiple tools, just select the one with the greatest scope here. You can choose which data you want to import with the filtering setting, for example perhaps just structure and envelope if you were working in LEED, but you also have the option to just import all data.
You can check to remove empty data, and you can check existing data preservation if you were doing multiple imports and didn't want to overwrite something that is already there. There is also the option to check to convert everything to the metric unit system if you were working in imperial.
The download Excel option is available at every stage of the import which is helpful if your import gets interrupted for any reason, and it would download the import at the current stage. You also have the option to send the data to another user as well.
Click continue to move to the next step.
The first stage is classification, just to make sure all your classes match what is in One Click LCA, and you can see the target location for your data. When confirmed and ready to move to the next step, click Continue.
If you didn't want to include some parts, you can choose to include or exclude them as required.
You want to combine as many data rows as possible. Based on the criteria you select, it will match those individual rows of data together. There are a couple reasons to do this. The first is that there is a maximum number of data rows you can import in any one import process (400). If several materials have the same type and thickness, rather than having to go through individual rows of data and select the same material for it, you can combine that into one row of data and select the material once, which will apply to all of the same type. If you choose to limit grouping criteria to CLASS, IFCMATERIAL and QTY_TYPE, you can find any that have all these fields matching. If you click the little green page, you can see exactly which rows of data are in this group. You can also ungroup if needed. Click Continue when ready to move to the next step.
In this section, you can see the material naming on the left hand side, and you can still see the green page. Our class and comments can still be seen here, and added to the comments is the number of rows combined together as well if you combined anything. Building part is set but also can be adjusted here or in the building material query afterwards as well. You can also choose to delete rows if you’d like.
The model checker at the top will also flag if you have something too generic. Click Continue to move to the final step of the import.
Guidance: Model Checker, Ensuring Data Quality
Often some of the data has been identified here, the reason for that is because previous imports have imported similar material which the software remembers the mappings to and then applies for future mappings. You can now see the resource that has been selected under the resource name. You can see a bit more information about it by clicking on the green question mark to bring up the data card for it. The mapping basis is clarified in the next column. If you have used this material before, it will show as “your mapping”, then it will show your colleagues' mappings next, users in your country, region and then globally.
If you click the dropdown beside the resource, you can also see other similar resources as well and change the mapping if you would like. You can again click the green question mark for multiple materials if you’d like to compare them. You can also click ‘choose from entire database’ if you want to search further. You can filter at the top of the page to search for materials easier as well.
If you do manually choose a material type, it automatically sets this as one you want to save in the future under ‘save mappings’.
You can see any unidentified or problematic data at the bottom, such as material that was too generic to mapl, and here you will have to manually map it to a material since it was too generic for the software to map. There is also a decide later option you can check, so it will be imported as an undefined material, which you can later swap out.
We recommend clicking save at the top every so often as well just in case.
Clicking continue now completes the import process and you’re taken to your results page.
To use the One Click LCA Revit import process, you will need to first download the One Click LCA revit plugin from our website. Once it’s downloaded, you have two options at the top under the One Click LCA tab - LCA in Cloud or LCA in Revit. If you do LCA in cloud, it will import all the information in this model and then you can do all of our filtering and import process the same way you would do with the Excel import. With the LCA in Revit option, you have a bit more functionality.
Guidance: Revit integration
LCA in Revit
If you click ‘LCA in Revit’, you get a pop-up, which will first take you to the settings tab. You can then choose which data you want to use, for example if you want families to be shown. You can also set the parameters and the scope. To change any of these, you can just select the dropdown menu beside them. Under ‘Revit Parameters sent to cloud’, you can select additional parameters to be imported. You can also set up Grouping Revit families - there is a bit of information here that is typically used for these families, and you can change the units for that as needed.
If you go to the model tab, you then have the option to select particular phases you want to use.
Under categories, you can select particular categories you want to be included or excluded.
You can see the materials that have been selected from our categories tab, and if you click on one of these, you can see the particular parts of our model that are included here. Much like in the Excel import, at this stage you can assign materials and save them to the model as well. If you click map, you can see all of the different datapoints that can be used here. You can use the filtering option at the top to limit this a bit, by data source, country, material and type of data as well.
With the new revit plug-in, you can actually see a bit more information about the resource itself, so if you click on the material row, then click on LCA Profile at the top, you can see more information about this resource to make sure it’s the one you want to use. You will need to be logged in for this.
Another option that you have is the isolate materials option. If you click on a material row, then click “Isolate materials” at the top then look at your model, it shows you only the part of the model that it is referring to. You can click again to see the full model again.
From this stage, you can then click LCA in Cloud and it will take you to the webpage for our software to continue importing online like with the Excel file.
One of the additional benefits of the expert license is that you can view the results in Revit, so if you go to the results tab, it will load the materials here, and it may take a minute or so. So you can now see the materials that have been mapped and can see their impact and their intensity as well. If you click for example impact quintile at the top, you can then see these results visually on the model. You can view this as impact or intensity - impact is the GWP and the intensity is divided by the area itself.
Guidance: Carbon Data/3D Back to BIM
You can also see your results in graph form of the embodied carbon of the parts of your model.
You can set benchmarking for your project here, and the default one is viewable in the top right corner.
LCA in Cloud
If you’re already logged in, when you click LCA in cloud, it will take you directly to the import stage on One Click LCA. Because you’ve already done the classifying in revit, you can skip right to the combine step and then combine materials as needed.
In the mapping stage here, you can see that some have been already selected and some are unidentified. If the unidentified data is less than 1%, you have the option to choose to exclude those. If you choose to map one of the unidentified materials, then click save mappings, that material will be moved to the identified section of the page. You can then finish and go to your results page, and you can see that some other materials have been included in the import besides building materials, such as the building area.
The workflow tool can serve as a reminder to help you when working with your projects. If you click the green Workflow button on the left side of the screen, you can see a suggested workflow where you can check off individual tasks as you complete them and add notes as you go along. There is also guidance available here that may help you with getting started.
With the help centre, you can click help at the top, then ‘Customer Support Center’ which will direct you to our help centre full of guidance articles and videos on most things you will need help with. You can also hit the help button in the bottom right to search for articles on specific topics. You can keep the article open while working on your LCA for step by step guidance, or click the pop out to open it in a new tab.
If you can’t find your answer in the help centre, or have any EPDs you would like us to include in our database, you can contact us by clicking the 'Contact Us' button in the bottom right corner that pops up.
Guidance: How To Contact Support