Full Carbon Story for Any Building Design Stage

From left to right: Panu Pasanen, CEO, Bionova Ltd; Rod Castro, PhD, Senior LCA Expert, Bionova Ltd.; Steph Larocque, COO, Autocase; Shane Minckley, Account Manager, Autocase; Katelyn Lawson, Lead Product Manager, Autocase; Ginevra Perelli, Product Manager, Autocase

New integration of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and Triple Bottom Line Cost Benefit Analysis (TBL-CBA) tools tells whole carbon story. Autocase and One Click LCA showcased their partnership for the first time at Greenbuild 2019.

 This integration of Autocase and One Click LCA allows building owners, architects, and policy designers to plan and design for the embodied and operational carbon emissions in buildings and to work towards net zero carbon.

It is well known that the carbon emissions from building operations are a significant challenge. However, tackling those is no longer enough to meet climate goals. Embodied carbon, that is the emissions from the extraction, processing, transport, and disposal of materials, is widely recognized as the next challenge to stay within our carbon budget. The challenge has been that bringing embodied and operational carbon together to evaluate trade-offs and set priorities, has only been available in the detailed design stage, when a lifecycle analysis (LCA) is done as materials are selected.

A partnership between One Click LCA and Autocase changes the landscape and allows embodied and operational carbon analysis at an early stage, when the costs of changes are small and the opportunities for carbon savings are large. One Click LCA is a life cycle metrics software that allows the embodied carbon in building materials to be estimated knowing only the location, size, and type of building. Users can create baseline buildings or concept phase options instantly and calculate an early-stage LCA. The results can be then refined as design progresses, up to selecting specific products and suppliers to reduce project carbon impacts.

Autocase is software that calculates the social, financial and environmental (triple bottom line, TBL) impacts of designs as they relate to energy, water, material choices and more. Both cloud-based software tools allow for analyses based on minimal information – building location, size, shape, and type. The integrated TBL and LCA analyses use local information on energy grid, water scarcity, as well as wages and prices. It also includes climate change scenarios and allows users to override or update information as the design progresses.

One Click LCA and Autocase software users can now import the building material embodied carbon from One Click LCA’s innovative early stage planning tool into Autocase. This allows users to see the carbon emissions saved from:

  • The embodied carbon of material choices and lower carbon materials options
  • The operational carbon from energy and water efficiency initiatives from features such as various HVAC options;
  • The operational carbon from renewable energy production; and,
  • The carbon sequestration in green roofs and other green infrastructure initiatives;
  • The operational carbon from rainwater harvesting and greywater reuse.

“Building owners, architects and those regulating and setting policy in the buildings sector have only seen half of the carbon picture”, said John Williams, CEO and Chairman of Impact Infrastructure and Chairman of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. “One Click LCA completes the view by giving them the embodied carbon picture. They can now make better decisions about our building assets and the environment”.

“We’re extremely pleased to deliver this integration with Autocase”, said Panu Pasanen, CEO of Bionova Ltd. “Autocase and One Click LCA have both been focused on providing information in the early planning or conceptual design stage. Together we can allow better decisions about the embodied and operational carbon footprint of buildings while those choices are still easy and cheap to make, and truly enable targeting net zero carbon”, he continued.


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