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BREEAM LCA (Life Cycle Assessment)

SWEL carry out all manner of life cycle assessments. With the BREEAM "Simplified" LCA Tool, we are presented with a  spread sheet, and a library of referenced values. However, rather then using a standard transparent metric such as kgCO2e/kg, the BREEAM Simplified LCA returns a result in "ecopoints", this metric is influenced by the carbon footprint of the materials, and contains other factors such as those listed in criteria for the green guide.

The chart below shows the the eco points that are accrued from a simplified single story building envelope. The external walls, here in standard construction of brick outer, medium dense concrete block inner, make for a large proportion of the buildings impact.

Including timber only elements can help reduce building impact, although owing to the occluded nature of the "eco point" we are not entirely sure how.

BREEAM Simplified Life Cycle Assessment

Eco Points?

A description of eco points is provided on the BRE website:

"An Ecopoint is the unit of measure of the environmental impact of a unit, product or material. The Ecopoint score is a single score obtained from the combined results of a life cycle assessment against the 13 impact categories identified in the BRE Environmental Profile methodology. The Ecopoint score is also relative to the impact of an EU citizen over one year: 100 Ecopoints = the environmental impact of 1 EU citizen over one year. The more Ecopoints a unit or design gets, the worse the environmental impact of that unit."  

Help with Life Cycle Assessment

If you would like us to help fill out your BREEAM life cycle assessment forms, because you are short of time, then please get in touch. However, we would suggest that it is very likely you could do it your self provided you have the time!

Where you might need some help is if you are going off-pieste with some unusual designs. For example we have been invited to undertake LCA on some homes that float (to avoid flood risks) and in this instance below ground floor everything is non standard, in this instance we might use BRE approved LCA software such as OneClickLCA, to undertake a Life Cycle Assessment and generate values which can be used in you BREEAM Assessment.