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One Click LCA helps build for a liveable future

The easy-to-use software is for designing and building in an environmentally sustainable way.Credits: : Screenshot/Bionova

One Click LCA automates the analysis of environmental impacts from existing design data while ensuring compliance with any certification scheme.

Did you know that buildings and construction are responsible for 40 per cent of carbon emissions globally and that those emissions accumulate throughout the building’s whole life cycle?

This is why Finnish software company Bionova developed One Click LCA, an easy-to-use software for designing and building in an environmentally sustainable way.

LCA stands for life-cycle assessment, which allows companies to evaluate the environmental impact of construction projects and products.

“For example, if you want to know how your building will influence climate change during its entire existence, LCA can give you the answer,” explains Panu Pasanen, the CEO of Bionova.

Identifying environmental hotspots

LCA is being increasingly demanded by investors, governments and certifications as a science-based evaluation method for green buildings.

A new type of software was much needed, however, as performing LCAs used to be quite a tricky business.

“There were no fast, affordable LCA tools,” Pasanen says.

LCA studies might have cost up to 15 000 euros and taken up to 150 hours, potentially delaying the construction process and slowing the uptake of LCA. The requirements laid out in different construction certifications and regulations also vary.

The innovation recently won the Energy Globe Award for Finland. “We are very proud about this award,” states CEO Panu Pasanen. Image: Bionova

“We automated the tedious analysis from existing design data and building information models and made it so fast and easy that you can be ready in just minutes,” Pasanen explains.

With the LCA report, architects and builders can see where the hotspots for carbon footprint and other environmental impacts lie, and intervene to fix those issues.

“It is also very easy to check which design changes would help reduce the environmental impact, as our software is incorporated into some of the biggest building design software used globally.”

Transforming global construction

Ultimately One Click LCA helps designers and managers in the construction business make better choices, saving time and money besides the environment.

Therefore, it is no wonder that Bionova now has clients in over 50 countries and is currently the market leader of construction LCA software in Europe. Major clients include the state of Norway, Skanska and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

“Generally speaking we have clients in countries where there is a lot of construction and a strong interest in sustainability,” Pasanen explains.

One Click LCA was developed in 2011, and by now it has the biggest LCA database of building materials in the world.

“This means our software can be used for calculations anywhere in the world. If you want to build a house in Seattle, for example, we can provide tailored, accurate metrics based on local construction products and applicable regulations.”

Nature’s Nobel Prize winner

The revolutionary model of One Click LCA has clearly resonated with the global green building community, and recently the software was selected as the winner of the Energy Globe Award for Finland in 2018.

This prestigious award, also dubbed the Nature’s Nobel Prize, is an annual prize granted by the Energy Globe Foundation to extraordinary sustainability projects.

“With more than 180 countries and 6 000 projects submitted for consideration, we are very proud about this award,” Pasanen enthuses.

By: Heini Huhtinen