“The greenest games ever” is the promise that helped separate Sydney from Beijing in the 1992 bid for the Olympics. The 2000 games site effectively became a publicly funded green building laboratory and the first large scale application of life cycle analysis.
A detailed life cycle profile was a condition of supply for all building materials. This information was collated into the Olympics Building Products Life Cycle Inventory Database (OLCI).
As all suppliers had to supply information based on the same “level playing field” controlling factors, the resultant OLCI, now called OzLCI was arguably, the the most comprehensive database of its type.
This made possible a new style of analysis with, for example, the clear and direct comparisons of the sustainability over time of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (red circle) with the Olympic Stadium (relative Green line) and a possible future build (purple line).
In 2001 the the Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation (CRCCI) was established, in part, to build on the work from the Sydney Olympics to deliver this comprehensive style of sustainability analysis in minutes instead of years.
Over $64m was raised in funds and “in kind” contributions to cover the seven year life of the CRCCI. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) was a founding partner and was contracted undertake the software development using OzLCI.
The “flagship” project was to build LCADesign, the world’s first large scale environmental impact calculator for large buildings designed with building information modelling (BIM) using LCA. Trials were conducted using seven commercial buildings including the KPMG Head Office in the Netherlands and Council House in Melbourne.
OzLCI was modified for application to the US west coast, Netherands and the UK. Californian, Dutch and German LCI databases were developed with Stanford University CIFE USA; Building Science & Technology CSTB France; University of Salford BHE UK; Technical Research Centre VTT Finland and University of Delft Netherlands as partners.
With support from a group of eight specialist scientists, architects and engineers, Ecquate Pty. Ltd. was established in March 2008 and successfully tendered for the ongoing licence for LCADesign and its associated national databases.
LCADesign was ahead of its time, with takeup restricted by many technical factors including the limited uptake of BIM. However LCADesign and associated national LCI’s found wide spread application in green labelling. Ecospecifier’s Green Tag Eco-labelling system was, arguably, the first successful commercial application of Life Cycle Analysis.
Ecquate stewardship of its multiple LCI’s allowed LCA based ecolabelling to cover commercial, industrial and residential sectors in Europe, China USA, Australia and more recently, the Middle East and South Africa.
For these regions, Ecquate also provide BIM LCA, environmental product declarations, background assessment data, comparative building product analysis and associated services to LCI database suppliers and a wide range of client companies. Ecquate develop type III environmental product declarations conformant with ISO 14025 and/or EN 15804. We provide data for sustainability measures including corporate sustainability reporting, triple bottom line accounting, and quality estimates for sustainability governance for individual countries that use the Environmental Sustainability Index and Environmental Performance Index. Ecquate also support the data provisions of the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme and Circles of Sustainability.
It can be argued that Ecquate is now the market leader in supplying quality LCI data and applying life cycle analysis for eco-positive outcomes.