Jane Anderson SBE0155
Written evidence from Jane Anderson, Director, ConstructionLCA Ltd
RICS methodology ease of use
Whilst the RICS methodology may be complex, most users only interact with the methodology through the use of tools which have been developed using the methodology. The tools themselves are designed to be easy to use, and to remove the complexity of the methodology from the user interface. The companies that are developing tools tend to be the larger ones, with the appropriate funds and expertise to interface directly with the RICS methodology. The situation with use of BS EN 15978 and BS EN 15804 (the Building and product level LCA Standards) is similar, as these standards are expensive to access and difficult to understand for the non-expert – most companies (AEC or manufacturing) use tools or specialist consultancies to undertake the work of assessments rather than interacting with the standards directly.
Issues with public procurement arrangements
Stakeholders have raised concerns with the 'comply or explain' basis for mandatory WLC assessments, cautious that this clause could mean projects simply provide a form of excuse-based explanation that would excuse firms from undertaking assessments. Stakeholders also suggested that stronger wording be adopted within the Construction Playbook so that contracting authorities "must" rather than "should" undertake whole-life carbon assessments. Lastly, stakeholders raised concerns over the diversity of whole-life carbon assessment tools that could be used to fulfil this requirement, which would create inconsistencies in assessments and make like-for-like comparison of projects difficult.
This situation is exacerbated as neither the Construction Playbook nor PAS 2080 provide any reference to the quantification methodology that should be followed for whole life carbon assessments, in particular for building assessments where use of the RICS Professional Statement on Whole Life Carbon, or at least reference to EN 15978 would provide a much greater consistency. Finally, to improve consistency, it would be useful for tools to have some form of peer review process to check that they have correctly applied published methodologies such as the RICS Professional Statement.