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Whole Building LCA Calculator (Proposal) G#17689

By 10 September 2018September 12th, 2018About, Calculators, Encyclopaedia, Files, GBE Website, Proposal, Whole Building
GBE Whole Building LCA Calculator Proposal A00 BRM 100918 PNG

GBE > EncyclopaediaFiles > Calculators > Proposal > G#17689

Whole Building LCA Calculator Proposal

Whole Building LCA Calculator Proposal

Existing components:

Existing 2 whole building calculators:

  • Energy and Carbon ‘in-use’
  • Embodied Energy, Embodied Carbon and Sequestered carbon
    • Based in ICE database (which needs replacing with better datasets)

Existing 892 elemental assembly spreadsheet

  • Building and landscape elemental assemblies made of many permutations of components and materials

Exiting 5300 LCA EPD datasets

  • 2000? building specific LCA EPD datasets

First stages of development towards bringing the 2 calculators and new datasets together:

Whole building calculator:

  • Complete: In use Energy and Carbon
  • Next stages:
    • Reapply calculators for Embodied Energy, Embodied Carbon and Sequestered carbon
    • Replace ICE dataset with extracts from LCA data from published consistent EPD
    • Develop to calculate LCA impacts
    • Add the LCA datasets

Whole building calculator already includes: 

  • Dimensions, areas, volumes, occupations time, internal and external temperature settings
  • Different regulations and energy standards to choose from, including:
    • BR AD L1A, L1B, L2A, L2B, Passivhaus, EnerPHit, AECB Silver, Gold, CarbonLite, with scope for others
    • Options to add your own national versions of Regulations, EAM or GBC standards
  • Many insulating materials and formats (that can be developed further) be added to from published LCA datasets,
  • 30 different elemental assemblies to do U value calculations:
    • Floors: suspended ground floor, suspended upper floor, top floors, external floors over air, floors over basement, party floors, basement retaining floors
    • Walls: external, internal partitions, buried retaining walls, compartment walls, party walls, green walls
    • Roofs: Pitched roofs, flat roofs, vaulted roof, buried basement roofs, surface basement roof
    • Living roofs, Green roofs, Brown Roofs, Blue Roofs, paved roofs
    • Glazed and opaque Windows, Doors, Rooflights, Glazing, Curtain walling, Vaulted glazing,
  • Whole building energy consumption calculations
    • % of energy consumption via elements calculations
  • Costs of components and materials:
    • Costs of windows, doors, roof lights, glazing input cells and calculations
    • Costs of insulation input cells and calculations

It enables users to:

  • Populate numbers of buildings, footprint, numbers of floors
  • Populate numbers and sizes of glazed elements
  • Set site external temperatures, internal use temperatures
  • Set number of hours of operation per 24 hour day
  • Choose the Regulations or energy standards that apply to their building and apply them into calculations
  • See immediately what thickness different insulation materials need to be to meet the chose energy standard
  • Identify which of the 30 elements apply to their building(s)
  • Identify which components of those selected elements apply to the building(s)
  • Determine the choice of materials for each component from ready made ‘drop down menus’ of materials
    • With readymade thicknesses and properties
  • Add manufacturer, product name or model number,
    • Add their k values if materials
    • Add U values if glazed or opaque elements
  • Set the thicknesses of each insulating component to meet the U values
    • Check they have achieved the U value required and be told ‘failed’ if not
    • Be informed the overall thickness of elements achieving the chosen energy standard
  • Choose the fuel source of heating
    • Determine the carbon released/generated in-use
  • Add the costs of insulation materials,
    • compare elemental costs of insulation
  • Add the costs of glazing elements,
    • compare the losses through glazed and opaque external envelop
  • Investigate improvements in energy conservation by spending more on
    • higher performance glazing elements
    • thermal insulation

It could be developed to:

  • Add additional material properties
    • Check condensation risk
    • Calculate Decrement Delay and allow changes of materials
      • to get a summer overheating ‘pass’ or be warned of a summer overheating ‘fail’
    • Add foundations, stairs/ramps, hard soft and wet landscape, fencing and walls
      • Capture other materials (not in envelop) for embodied impact calculations
    • Add a means to choose from 892 ready made competent elemental assemblies
      • And embed them in the calculator as ‘Vertical look up tables’
    • Add volume and weight calculations
      • Reapply the Embodied energy, embodied carbon and Sequestered carbon calculation
    • Add the ICE and other sources dataset at ‘Horizontal Look up tables’ to enable the calculations
      • Choose or modify the material for each component
      • Preset carbon sequestering materials with a ‘Yes’ to engage that part of the calculator
    • Add LCA datasets for generic materials and products as ‘Horizontal look up tables’
      • Replace the ICE dataset from the LCA datasets
    • Add the LCA Calculations for components, materials, elemental assemblies, elemental % comparisons, whole building
    • Report back on embodied impacts, per materials, per component, per element, per whole building
    • Compare in-use impacts with embodied impacts and enable modifications of choices to compare results

Future development opportunities:

  • Whole building in-use energy and carbon calculations to ‘per-year’
  • Add fuel cost data to determine fuel costs ‘per-year’
  • Collect product costs dataset and embed in calculator as ‘Horizontal look up tables’
  • Add costs of all components and materials to become a whole building cost calculator
  • Collect products properties datasets to create more ‘drop down menus’ and ‘look up tables’
  • Export datasets to inform CAD and BIM ready objects
  • Integrate with GBE Database as look up tables
  • Collect and incorporate all published BIM Product Data Tables as Products in ‘Look up tables’
  • Develop calculator to estimate quantities of mechanical, electrical & Public Health services
  • Develop LCA Calculator for metals, plastics, ITC to address services to be a true whole building calculator
  • Integrate with BIM to become an App.
  • Collect case study building energy performance datasets and incorporate as a benchmarking function

Development and funding opportunities

Government 3 phase proposal funding schemes


  • Potential funding Institutions, their members are potential users
  • Potential dataset providers: include data in calculator
  • Manufacturers of products to include in datasets
  • Potential users

Crowd fund campaign

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy aka BrianSpecMan
10th September 2018 – 12th September 2018

Whole Building LCA Calculator Proposal

GBE Whole Building LCA Calculator Proposal A00 BRM 100918 PNG

GBE Whole Building EE + EC + SC Calculator

GBE Whole Building EE + EC + SC Calculator

Whole Building, Elements, U Values, Areas, Temperatures differences, Heat loss, Element %, Fuel choice, CO2

Whole Building, Elements, U Values, Areas, Temperatures differences, Heat loss, Element %, Fuel choice, CO2



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© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy aka BrianSpecMan
10th September 2018 – 12th September 2018

Whole Building LCA Calculator Proposal
See Also: 

GBE Proposal

GBE Calculators

  • Whole Building LCA Calculator (Proposal) G#17689 (this page)

GBE Templates

GBE Brainstorms

GBE Books

GBE Links

GBE Labels


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy aka BrianSpecMan
10th September 2018

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