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Calculate environmental impact/ circularity


OVAM, Brussels Environment, Wallonie service public

Goal of the tool

To demonstrate and the environmental impact of the choice of the different building layers and the materials and to limit this impact on the environment.


The increase of the awareness on energy performance of buildings led to the decrease of energy consumption of buildings during their use phase. This does, however, result in an increase in the amount of materials used during construction or renovation. The relative impact of materials is responsible for 10 to 30% of the environmental impact of a building. The choice of materials for the construction or renovation of buildings is therefore of great importance for the  ecological footprint of buildings.

Totem makes it possible, by 16 environmental indicators, to demonstrate this impact. The environmental effects of an element or a building are expressed by means of scores at different levels: a monetised total score (€/m²) or detailed scores. The value obtained expresses the financial cost in euros that is necessary for the repair of the environmental damage caused. 


Use this tool when you ...

  • want to calculate the CO2 emissions of your building project

  • want to acknowledge this environmental impact expressed in monetary values


  • The criteria for reversible design of the elements and buildings are not taken into account in Totem, but will be integrated into later versions

  • No inclusion of renewable materials, such as wool and straw.

Environmental classifications of construction products


Goals of the tool

  • Offer open source information on construction materials and products

  • Enable everyone to consult the database and to use the information.


The database of NIBE contains information about the environmental, cost and health data of construction products. The information sheets include sections such as Emissions, Waste scenarios, Production characteristics, etc.




Goals of the tool

  • Design and build a fast, reliable framework for sustainability assessment & life cycle modelling, that allows flexible modelling, in a standard programming language, using only widely available Open Source software

  • Enable users to build their own modules.


openLCA is an open source software for Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment. It offers flexible ways to model life cycle systems, with the ability to calculate environmental, social and economic indicators. The open architecture of openLCA eases import and export of data and integration in other IT landscapes. Plugins provide different more specific elements.


Use this tool when you ...

are looking for an open source, free and transparent software to calculate a Sustainability Assessment and/or Life Cycle Assessment together with different analysis features


The code doesn't cover stocks in life cycles, time and risks. But openLCA can be linked to other modeling software, or itself extended.


Facilitair Bedrijf

Goals of the tool

  • To develop future-oriented buildings through an integrated design process.

  • To offer the designer a tool to calculate building performance level and possible priorities, while finding the most economic solution, without limiting the designer's freedom


The GRO tool is a sustainability meter for all construction projects, developed by the Facilitair Bedrijf (Facility Service Center) of the Flemish Government. Criteria within the three categories People, Planet, Profit can be tailored to the project. In addition to the qualitative and quantitative criteria, attention is also paid to climate responsive design and the principles of circular construction. The criteria and their performance levels are graphically translated into a radar diagram for each category of People Planet Profit. No weighting factors are used for the criteria.

The tool consists of an overview file and 'spreadsheets'. The spreadsheets consist of 16 calculation files, checklists, a requirements table, etc. The user manual is included in the package.

The Facilitair Bedrijf uses the checklists in a sensitizing manner. GRO was originally developed to implement a simultaneous and holistic level of sustainability in the construction projects of the Facility Service Agency. The instrument is put online for free to raise awareness.


Use this tool when you ...

are looking for a holistic tool, from calculation sheets to a checklist to design circular buildings.


You can use it in 3 possible ways:

  • Free as a guide and source of inspiration

  • Applying a number of criteria (for very small projects for example)

  • Compulsory use as an ambition and control instrument


  • The tool is only available in Dutch.

  • Even although the Facilitair Bedrijf tried to make the GRO tool as clear as possible, it is a tangle of Excel files and therefore it could be unclear how and where to get started.

One Click LCA

Bionova Ltd

Goals of the tool

  • Enabling better decision-making in the design phase and leading to a more effective approach to green building design

  • To make Life-Cycle Metrics calculations as easy and effortless as possible



The One Click LCA is a life cycle metrics software for the construction industry. It uses existing data (import from Excel, Revit, and others is possible), and gives you access to other LCA databases. You can collaborate with several people on the same project at the same time. The software has 6 features: Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Costing, Early Design Optimization, Carbon Footprinting, Circularity Assessment and Carbon Benchmarking. Each feature's explanation has a written guide, a demo or/and a webinar. One Click LCA can be used for different types of construction project types, such as buildings and infrastructure. At the ens of the LCA analysis, when all the data is entered, improvement opportunities can be found, design options can be compared and standardized reports can be created.



  • The tool is paying. It has 4 subscription plans (starter, business, expert and other tools). The prices are not shown on the website. You need to request a quote. The tool is free for students.

  • It is not transparent how the calculations for each feature are done. For instance, for the Building Circularity, it is mentioned that the material sources, the materials recovered, the rate of disassembly, etc. is taken into account, but it is not mentioned what the weight is of each factor in the calculation.

Ecolizer ontwerptool


Goals of the tool

  • Designers and company can calculate the environmental impact of their product.

  • Raise awareness on the environmental impact of products

  • Development of products with a lower environmental impact



The Ecolizer can calculate the environmental impact of a product. The Ecolizer tool focusses on a broader field of designers (e.g. product designers, interior designers). It can calculate both the total environmental impact and the impact per phase in the life cycle of a product. This way, you can tackle life cycle phases with a high environmental impact in a targeted way. In addition, you can also compare products with each other.

The environmental impact is calculated on the basis of all materials, processes, packaging and transport modes that are applied during the life cycle of the product. Each material and processing method corresponds to a number of environmental points given by the Ecolizer. These points indicate the environmental impact. Adding up all the environmental points will allow the user to calculate the effect of the project on the environment.



  • Even though the Ecolizer contains basic building materials and gives a good first idea of the environmental impact of a certain design choice, it is clear from  lack of specific building material options that this tool is not meant for the building industry. For this reason, OVAM has developed the Totem tool (here above).

Take a look at

the other tools 

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