BCIS launches whole life measuring tool

BCIS chief executive James Fiske

Life Cycle Evaluator brings together BCIS’s 60 years of cost data with data from the Built Environment Carbon Database (BECD).

BCIS chief executive James Fiske, who chairs the BECD steering group, said: “By combining reliable and consistent cost and carbon data, which crucially complies with industry standards and is fully auditable, Life Cycle Evaluator empowers professionals to make informed decisions that optimise both project budget and environmental impact.

“Everyone in the industry, regardless of their role, can play a part in reducing harmful emissions. Realistically, though, we know it’s not always easy to incorporate carbon assessments into project planning, especially where there is limited experience within the team. Anything we can do to make that process more streamlined and efficient will be of significant benefit.”

Introduction of the Life Cycle Evaluator follows on from the launch of the BCIS Cost and Carbon Materials Database, which provides comparative cost and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) details for thousands of materials and components, and the Built Environment Carbon Database, a collaborative initiative that includes a repository of EPDs and project carbon data.

James Fiske said: “Combining cost and carbon data in one place is a logical development given the increasing requirement for both detailed whole life cost and whole life carbon plans to be produced, evaluated and audited in projects.

“We expect to see more audits being carried out on projects’ green credentials, making the accuracy of assessments – in some cases carried out to secure financing – even more critical.

“And, actually, the progression from high-level early estimates to the specification of precise materials and components is very similar whether you’re looking at costs or carbon. It makes complete sense to do it in one go, saving valuable time and resources.”

He added: “The inevitable consequence of everyone realising we need to address decarbonisation is that we’ve ended up with a multitude of carbon calculators, be they publicly available or developed by firms in-house. The lack of consistency between these calculators, which anyone who has used more than one will recognise, makes any meaningful use of these assessments more difficult.

“Standardising the way everyone carries out whole life carbon assessments is really important. Enabling professionals to be able to do them at the same time as whole life cost assessments is something that will hopefully improve efficiencies and ultimately reduce emissions.”

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