Optimizing EPD and LCA workflows with Trimble

Optimizing EPD and LCA workflows with Trimble
Optimizing EPD and LCA workflows with Trimble | One Click LCA

Environmental product declarations (EPDs) are the building blocks of life-cycle assessments, providing standardized environmental impact data for each construction product in a building. This article synthesizes key insights from a recent webinar between One Click LCA and Trimble, detailing strategies for optimizing EPD creation and streamlining LCA workflows, particularly in less conventional products such as pre-fabricated concrete components.

The role of EPDs in life-cycle assessment (LCA)

LCA is a standardized methodology for quantifying the environmental impacts of products or systems throughout their life cycle. In construction, LCA encompasses stages from raw material extraction, manufacturing, transportation, construction, use, and end-of-life processes.

Understanding environmental product declarations (EPDs)

EPDs are verified documents that report the environmental impacts of construction products based on LCA. They serve multiple purposes, including aiding building designers in selecting sustainable materials, supporting regulatory compliance, and enhancing marketing efforts by demonstrating lower environmental impacts compared to benchmarks.

Regulatory and market drivers for EPDs

The demand for EPDs is fueled by regulatory requirements and market incentives.

Regulations in various countries, such as the EU's Green Deal and the Buy Clean Act in the USA, mandate the use of products with EPDs to meet sustainability criteria. Building certification schemes like LEED and BREEAM also award credits for the use of products with EPDs, further driving their adoption.


Tools and integrations for streamlining LCA workflows

Trimble's tools for efficient LCA processes

Trimble offers a suite of tools that integrate seamlessly with One Click LCA, facilitating efficient LCA processes.

  1. Tekla Structural Designer
    This tool is ideal for early-stage structural analysis and design, supporting various standards and enabling easy export of material data for LCA.

  2. Tekla Structures
    A comprehensive BIM modeling software that provides accurate material quantities and detailed construction information is crucial for precise LCA calculations.
  3. Trimble Connect
    A cloud-based collaboration platform that aggregates data from multiple sources, enhancing the LCA process by providing a holistic view of the project.


Integration benefits

Trimble's integrations with One Click LCA streamline the LCA process by automating data transfer and ensuring data accuracy. This integration allows for early-stage design iterations, enabling stakeholders to make informed decisions that significantly reduce the embodied carbon of projects.

Practical applications and case studies

Three practical scenarios were discussed in the webinar:

  1. Tekla Structural Designer
    Structural engineers can export material takeoffs directly to One Click LCA, facilitating early-stage carbon impact assessments.

  2. Tekla Structures
    BIM technicians can create detailed models that provide accurate material data for LCAs, reducing errors and improving decision-making.
  3. Trimble Connect
    LCA experts can use this platform to gather and integrate data from various models, streamlining the overall LCA process.

Future trends and challenges in EPD and LCA

The future of EPDs and LCAs in construction is shaped by increasing regulatory demands and the need for sustainable practices.

Anticipated regulatory frameworks will mandate LCAs for all new building projects, driving higher demand for EPDs, especially those demonstrating low environmental impacts. The challenge lies in ensuring data accuracy and reliability, which is critical for effective LCA and EPD creation.

Optimizing EPD creation and streamlining LCA workflows are crucial for advancing sustainability in the construction industry. The integration of Trimble's tools with One Click LCA exemplifies how technology can enhance efficiency and accuracy in LCA processes. As regulations tighten and market demands grow, the adoption of these integrated workflows will be essential for achieving net-zero targets and fostering sustainable construction practices.


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