Riding the tidal wave of sustainability data

Riding the tidal wave of sustainability data

Learn more about today's tidal wave of AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) sustainability data with One Click LCA CEO Panu Pasanen and Building Transparency Executive Director Stacy Smedley.

What is the tidal wave of sustainability data? What’s causing it?

The tidal wave of sustainability data stems from a combination of factors, including heightened awareness and literacy in sustainability practices, the pressing urgency of climate change impacts, a growing demand for credible and measurable sustainability measures beyond certifications, strategic business imperatives for competitiveness, and regulatory mandates enforcing disclosure and emission thresholds. Organizations like Building Transparency and One Click LCA play a big role democratizing access to sustainability data, facilitating its application across industries, particularly in areas like embodied carbon and life cycle assessment.

Do people even understand this data?

Understanding sustainability data remains a challenge for many, including professionals in the AEC industry. While some might possess basic literacy in sustainability concepts, others might struggle to navigate the complexities of data analysis and interpretation. Initiatives aimed at enhancing data literacy, such as educational programs and workshops, are essential to equip stakeholders with the necessary skills to comprehend and leverage sustainability data effectively. Policymakers play a crucial role in setting guidelines to foster consistency and advance data comprehension.

How can the AEC industry cope with the data?

To cope with the deluge of sustainability data, the AEC industry must embrace tools and processes that streamline data management and analysis. Professionals are encouraged to leverage available software platforms and resources tailored to their specific needs, facilitating early design decisions and informed sustainability strategies. Moreover, prioritizing the overarching goal of decarbonization over achieving perfection in data analysis can help mitigate the challenges associated with data complexity.

How can AEC pros cope with the data?

AEC professionals can effectively manage sustainability data by adopting a strategic approach, focused on carbon targets and practical considerations. Rather than starting with the project itself, they should begin by identifying allowable carbon emissions based on established benchmarks, such as those provided by initiatives like the Science Based Targets or certification schemes like LEED. This approach ensures that sustainability goals are integrated from the outset. 

Professionals should assess feasible strategies within the context of their project constraints, such as site-specific limitations or material availability. Prioritizing key areas of impact, such as structural elements or building enclosures, allows for targeted action to maximize decarbonization efforts. By focusing on the most significant contributors to emissions and leveraging available data within these domains, AEC professionals can streamline decision-making processes and effectively manage sustainability outcomes.

Are Building Transparency & One Click LCA in competition?

Building Transparency and One Click LCA are not in competition but rather complementary entities in the mission to decarbonize the built environment. Building Transparency sees One Click LCA as a leading tool in the industry, providing accessibility to practitioners. One Click LCA also sees the importance of accessibility and democratization of data, recognizing the value in free tools alongside commercial offerings. Both entities emphasize the significance of collaboration and data flow to ensure widespread access to sustainability data, highlighting their alignment in advancing the common goal of sustainability. They acknowledge that the availability and dissemination of sustainability data are essential for driving informed decision-making and achieving meaningful impact in the AEC industry.

Riding the tidal wave of AEC sustainability data

What are Building Transparency & One Click LCA doing to help?

Building Transparency focuses on providing credible, verified, and accessible sustainability data through its database and tools, aiming to lower barriers to entry for AEC professionals. One Click LCA is committed to data generation, education, and integration into the design process, offering automation and AI-driven solutions to streamline sustainability data management. Together, these initiatives empower stakeholders to make informed decisions and drive progress toward decarbonization.

What can AEC pros do to help?

AEC professionals can contribute to sustainability efforts by advocating for evidence-based practices within their organizations and projects. By raising awareness of the importance of sustainability data and promoting its integration into decision-making processes, professionals can drive positive change and align business objectives with environmental goals. Collaboration, education, and innovation are essential for advancing sustainability initiatives and creating a more resilient built environment for future generations.

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