The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) is committed to the continual improvement of the IS rating scheme and updates the scheme on an ongoing basis to ensure it stays relevant, robust and effective.

As part of the development of ISv2.0, ISCA has commissioned start2see, a specialist consultancy in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), to update and refresh the IS Materials Calculator. The update reflects opportunities for improvement as identified by ISCA’s Waste and Materials Working Group. “The next version will again see a change in some of the GHG emissions factors and IS EnviroPoints to reflect the latest available life cycle inventory information,” said Rob Rouwette, founder of start2see and LCA expert. “But the change behind the scenes is much more profound. We are updating the IS EnviroPoints methodology to align the IS Materials Calculator with the impact assessment method used in EN 15804 compliant Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). We are thus bringing the IS Materials Calculator in line with international best practice methods for EPDs.”

The upgrade provides a direct link between EPDs and the calculator, thereby providing construction material manufacturers with a direct pathway for their low environmental impact products to be rewarded. “We are listening to the industry’s wishes and try to accommodate their requests where possible”, says Nicole Boyd, ISCA’s v2.0 Development Manager. “As a result, users can expect to see a few new materials in the calculator, such as warm mix asphalt, geopolymer concrete and electrical cables.” The IS EnviroPoints methodology update was strongly supported by the Working Group. “ISCA is always looking to improve the effectiveness of its resources,” stresses Nicole. “Apart from creating linkages with EPDs, this update will also see the impact assessment methodology behind the IS Materials Calculator brought in line with the methodology used in GreenStar LCAs for the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).”

Furthermore, Rob was directly involved in the development of the Carbon Estimate and Reporting Tool (CERT) for Transport for NSW (TfNSW). start2see will be working with ISCA and TfNSW to explore further opportunities for aligning these key infrastructure tools. “We have been working on the AusLCI database, EPDs and LCA-based calculators for years now. It is great to see the gradual convergence of all these life cycle initiatives.” said Rob.

The updated IS Materials Calculator v2.0 will be available at the start of 2018.


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