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CILECCTA: Providing sustainable optionsJune 2012

New software is being developed capable of assessing the costs (LCC) and environmental impacts (LCA) during the life cycle of a building . The EU-project CILECCTA is developing a software demo that is compatible with codified Price Banks (PBs) as well as Life Cycle Inventory Results (LCIRs) across Europe.

What is the most important criterion when comparing design alternatives for a construction project? Would you choose a project that has the lowest initial cost, or lowest life cycle cost or has the best performance in terms of its effect on the environment, i.e. the lowest CO2 emission?

Most people will answer this question as "lowest initial cost", but this factor alone is becoming less important because of the scarce resources. One should not select the cheapest investment alternative, but consider all relevant costs of a building and its effect on the environment.

Sustainable options

CILECCTA is a project co-financed by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program. It has brought together top class academics, and industrial researchers, associations and enterprises in a consortium to develop a suite of software that will enable the assessment of sustainable options providing decision support.

The CILECCTA software will be capable of assessing the Life Cycle Cost and environmental impacts compatible with codified Price Banks (PBs) as well as Life Cycle Inventory Results (LCIRs) across Europe. It will also be customisable/configurable for whole assets and their components. The development of the concept has been propelled by four sets of drivers, i.e. building industry, EC, users, and commercial drivers.

- The CILECCTA prototype differs from existing software in several areas. Traditional LCC and LCA software have not taken uncertainty into consideration in the analysis. The CILECCTA software lets the user handle uncertainty on several levels. We call this going from a Deterministic to a Probabilistic approach, says CILECCTA's Technical Manager Frode Eek in Holte.

The second important feature in CILECCTA is the ability to model flexibility.

- Flexibility answers fundamental questions like "how much does it cost me to invest a little extra when setting up the construction, compared to the cost of wanting to change the construction at a later point of time". Having provided the analysis with cost data and environmental data, these two scenarios can be compared as far as costs and environmental hazards are concerned. This kind of combined analysis is not possible in any other solution today, says Kari Thunshelle at SINTEF, responsible partner for the dissemination in the project.

In order to make the software more tangible and gather experience, the software will be trialed using three examples: a house, a road and a hotel/resort. At the same time an e-learning module will be produced so that new users will more easily understand what the software can achieve and how they can use it.

Objectives

The principal objective for the CILECCTA project is to support the industrialization of the construction sector particularly through:

  • Improved resource efficiency
  • Development of client-driven knowledge-based processes, products and services
  • Improvements in the use of ICT for increased connectivity of the actors in the sector

The aim of CILECCTA is to develop a suite of software that is

  • Capable of full Life Cycle Cost Analysis (combined LCC and LCA)
  • Compatible with codified Price Banks (PBs) and Life Cycle Inventory Results (LCIRs) across Europe
  • Customisable/configurable for whole assets and their components
  • To enable the assessment of sustainable options to provide decision support

Consortium

The CILECCTA project includes a top class consortium of 16 partners from 7 European countries. All partners bring their individual expertise to the project and each is necessary for its execution. In short, the consortium forms complementary enterprises that have a broad reach across all aspects of the construction industry; from architects (APIA XXI, CARLTD) to Large Enterprises in the infrastructure (ACCIONA), from hotels and resorts (TUI) to the public regeneration industry sectors; from RTDs and AGs representing their members in the industry (Fraunhofer-IBP, SINTEF, EurExcel, Norsk Teknologi) to service providers (Holte (Project Coordinator), BSRIA, PE International, TechnoBee, ASM, DesignTech). In addition, the University of Stuttgart and the Lulea University of Technology provide a direct route to higher education in the building sector.

The project started September 1st 2009 and will finish August 31st 2013. Industry will be invited to seminars towards the end of the project period, where the software will be demonstrated.

For more information, see www.cileccta.eu - where it is also possible to subscribe for news from the project.

BSRIA provides consultancy to help clients, design consultants, contractors and manufacturers apply life cycle costing analysis for their specific projects or bid proposals.

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