A new LCA Platform measures and documents the environmental impact of projects across all sectors, from buildings to bridges. And it all happens in real time from the very early design stages to final documentation and hand-over, operation, and maintenance.
Today, more than ever, there is a pull from organizations worldwide to work in a more structured way with sustainability. At the same time, governments are adding regulatory frameworks to create zero-emissions societies. And better, more transparent solutions and documentation for sustainability are in high demand with organizations and public bodies to abide by legislative requirements and to conform with public demands.
To tackle these circumstances and to help customers navigate the political landscape COWI and Arkitema have created a new LCA Platform concept, which links data from various entries into one holistic entity that provides instant, transparent data on a project's environmental impact. The platform is currently available for building projects in Denmark, but the scope is to develop the concept and open the platform up for other markets and sectors.
The LCA Platform consists of different tools that can be applied at various stages of a project from the early design stage to documenting the final footprint.
Morten Alsdorf, Senior Digital Transformation Director at COWI explains: "Our customers ask for decision tools that measure sustainability end-to-end. They need transparent data in the very early project phases to make informed decisions and investments in sustainable design. And they need to easily be able to collect and quantify environmental impacts of all materials that have gone into a project for documentation purposes. They need it to get building permits vis-à-vis new regulations and they need it to avoid expensive project setbacks as decisions are changed during project execution".
The platform currently consists of two tools that ready for the market: LCA Design and LCA Documentation. LCA Design shows the environmental impact of design choices in the early design phase. LCA Documentation streamlines and simplifies LCA data collection from all project suppliers, diminishing cumbersome administrative procedures. This allows building owners to easily quantify environmental impacts of all materials that have gone into a project for documentation and certification purposes.
The Danish building industry has been used as a starting point for developing the LCA Platform, with pilot projects and development partners counting for instance NREP and Home.Earth. In the coming time, COWI will be extending the platform to encompass other sectors and markets.
We have already defined the backbone structure of the LCA Platform. And we are now several steps into the next development phase: Defining the cross-sector differentiators so the platform can be applied by other sectors, no matter if you work with climate adaptation, Power-to-X or infrastructure.
In January 2022, COWI launched a new strategy. Besides deselecting all fossil fuel projects going forward, the company also made a commitment to enable customers to succeed with their green transformation.
With the new LCA Platform, the company has made giant strides in unifying the way we work with and document sustainability. It allows sustainability to be classified at equal terms to other, more traditional design parameters such as time and economics. And it is a very concrete way of providing customers with tangible tools to support their sustainable journey.