Early-stage decarbonization for Australia and New Zealand

Early-stage decarbonization for Australia and New Zealand

What is early-design stage decarbonization?

Early-design stage decarbonization is the most efficient and cost-effective way to lower your building’s carbon footprint. By visualizing and assessing the embodied carbon within a design at the very early stages, designers are able to compare alternatives and make clearer decisions within their designs from day one.

One Click LCA’s Carbon Designer 3D allows you to break down the design process into steps, enabling you to see the carbon hotspots at each building element, and compare multiple designs.

Carbon Designer 3D for more sustainable construction in Australia and New Zealand

Carbon Designer 3D now contains Australia and New Zealand reference buildings, making it simple to calculate and modify the embodied carbon of projects within these key regions, from the onset of the design.

Australia’s and New Zealand’s updated Carbon Designer 3D reference buildings include data specific to each region’s local regulations and conditions, to enable accurate design and comparisons. 

Both new reference buildings include region-specific parameters for: -

  • recommended default parts in different building types 
  • concrete strength, its recycled content, rebar ratios and building envelope
  • structures taking into account seismic conditions 

Aligning to national Green Star ratings for Australia and New Zealand

Australia’s updated Carbon Designer 3D reference building follows the region’s Green Star ratings, published by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) to assess the sustainability of projects at all stages of the built environment life cycle. Its building envelope specifications also follow Australian National Construction Code’s (NCC) energy performance requirements, containing 170 new region-specific ‘constructions’ (i.e., pre-made assemblies of materials data) covering: -

  • Foundations
  • Columns
  • Beams
  • Walls
  • Slabs
  • Staircases
  • Finishes
  • Windows
  • Doors

It’s now included in the Carbon Designer 3D add-on and LCA for Green Star (AUS/NZ) tool subscriptions – plus any building LCA tools, including EN 15804+A1 data. Constructions are easy to add at the start of your project, for fast impact modeling.

For New Zealand, the Carbon Designer 3D reference building is aligned with the region’s Green Star ratings, managed by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC). It has 225 new region-specific ‘constructions’, including: -

  • Foundations
  • Columns
  • Beams
  • Walls 
  • Slabs
  • Staircases 
  • Finishes

Simplified building design

Both Carbon Designer 3D reference buildings for Australia and New Zealand also  include ready-to-use localized structural systems, and standard constructions you can choose from – requiring the user to simply add the building size and type. Users are also able to add specific designs and create their own scenarios. From that point, the design creation process is broken down into simple steps. Carbon Designer 3D is project-based, rather than design-based, providing added flexibility to save and manage your data.

Early carbon design optimization can cut carbon emissions by up to 50%

Timing is crucial when it comes to decarbonizing your design. Carbon Designer 3D technology helps you save time on calculations and pinpoint carbon hotspots at the start of your project. From here, you can measure the % of effects of different elements and optimize your embodied carbon impacts within minutes. Overall, the software can help you reduce your emissions by up to 50%.

Compare designs and complete analysis

The Carbon Designer 3D lets you compare an unlimited quantity of designs and up to four designs simultaneously, using both manufacturer and private data. With the ‘Carbon view’ option, you can see the total carbon share different elements have on your design. And you can zero in on finite details, by including or excluding specific features, like foundations.

Enable data-driven design solutions

The Carbon Designer 3D tool allows you to visualize a project’s carbon impact by building parts, classification, material, or component. This precision enables you to make big, data driven design decisions on issues like which structural material to choose, or whether to build tall or small.

How One Click LCA collects data for regional reference buildings

Carbon Designer 3D offers default solutions or alternatives for the region’s typical construction solutions. Our automatically generated building models aim to reflect a region’s ‘median’ constructions for specific building types and frames. 

To achieve this, we focus on market preferences and industry standards, using the following resources: -

  • Local building codes: Including the Australian NCC and New Zealand’s local building codes for energy performance requirements
  • Expert feedback: From local stakeholders, clients, experts (and OneClick employees) e.g., Statsbygg (Norway), Irish GBC, NZGBC, Southbase, M3Architecture, Sumitomo (Japan), and Finnish Wood Industry Association 
  • Certifications: Including Australia and New Zealand’s Green Star ratings
  • Latest research, reports, and building codes: Covering the region’s construction trends and material preferences 

When creating our building models, we consider: -

  • Typical constructions: We identify the region’s most common local construction solutions for different building parts (e.g., typical external walls) and set them as default solutions or alternatives for different scenarios.
  • Local environmental data: Some markets have strong preferences for specific generic environmental profiles, or industry-standard databases. Failing this, we adjust One Click LCA’s own generic data to the project’s country, using the manufacturing localization method.
  • Thermal requirements: We look at local regulations and construction practices to provide all commonly needed variations.
  • Typical material types: We ensure specific regional material preferences for roofs, walls, etc, are available as default or alternative options.
  • Recycled material content: We assess the region’s common proportions of recycled content in concrete and steel – a significant factor in a building’s carbon footprint. We create multiple alternatives to account for the greater uncertainties and regional variations on this issue.
  • Seismicity requirements: We create structural frames to reflect the growing seismic activity across many global regions. 
  • Building type variations: Building type setup and building part ratios (e.g., internal wall to external wall ratios) are typically the same worldwide. We refine these further, wherever there’s regional data available.
  • Column spacing and other structural-related data: This varies by building frame and building frame preferences vary across different regions.

One Click LCA can make further regional adjustments where additional data and references are provided. Where a variation isn’t available, users can create a custom private template with desired construction adaptations that can be directly reused in Carbon Designer 3D.

Different geometry variations in different regions

One Click LCA has a pre-set range of dimensions and building part quantity ratios which vary per building type. Users can also easily make their own adjustments to dimensions during design creation.

Our geometry assumptions were developed using Eurocodes data, our own research on typical construction practices, and data from local partners.  

These dimensions and building part ratios are used to calculate the overall geometry for all new designs. From here, the exact construction solutions used (e.g., wall type etc) vary by structural frame, region and building type.

Australia’s and New Zealand’s new Carbon Designer 3D reference buildings make early carbon design optimization quicker, simpler, and more targeted in both regions.

The new region-specific Carbon Designer 3D reference buildings comply with all local regulations, Green Star ratings and regional norms, standards and preferences. By enabling early carbon design optimization, this tool can help you reduce your building’s carbon emissions by up to 50%. Contact our sales team today and take your first step towards a low carbon future.


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