Your Questions GBC Answers C#344

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Your Questions

GBC Answers

It would be great to carry on those conversations and hear more about your work with the Green Building Calculator, particularly around the reuse of steel.

Daisy Ash MSc BEng
Senior Carbon Consultant

14/06/2022

GBC V2 already includes:
  • Elements: super-structure frames and components
  • Components: It includes drop down lists of U Universal, RS Rolled section, PF Parallel Flange profiles and HS hollow sections
    • We do need to add weights of profiles for this to be the whole storey
    • We could go further to show Iyy & Ryy values to compare different reclaimed sections strengths
    • (its long time since I talked structures so I may be wrong with the notations)
  • Materials: It includes virgin and recycled steels
    • So we can engage with reclaimed steel
  • But what is missing is manufacturers, suppliers and costs.
  • We plan to add Green Building Product Data Collection and Green Building Price Book to fill those gaps.

Looks interesting.

Does it estimate volumes of materials in a variety of house types?

Or do you need to input them in yourself?

Thanks

Via LinkedIn 11th June 2022

GBC B2 (not GBC V2) Retrofit version has numerous house types in a look-up-table, choose and it populates the cells and does the calculations for you:

  • E.g. England v Scotland;
  • end of terrace v semi-detached v cottage v double upper, etc.;
  • pre-1919 v post 1919, etc.;
  • traditional solid wall v cavity wall,
  • suspended floor v solid floor; etc.

GBC V2 does not do that yet, so you do need to add building dimensions and methods of construction, it will then do the number crunching for you.

GBC V2 is designed to serve any building design

  • New build
  • Retrofit
  • Domestic
  • Non-domestic
  • single or Multi-storey
  • Detached or Terraces

Bespoke development in GBC B2 will find their way back into GBC V3-V35 when enough subscribers help it to develop.

  • Is GBC V2 in MS Excel, which version?
  • Does GBC V2 work on an Apple MacBook?
30/05/2022

  • Thanks for this. That means I should be able to use it on my ageing Mac!
  • You could consider building an .ODS using the open source LibreOffice spreadsheet.
  • As that is cross-platform, it would make the Calculator available on Linux as well.
  • Libre Office is downloadable for free.

30/05/2022


  • GBC Version 2 is created as a MS Excel for Mac 2011 Version 14.7.3 file,
  • GBC is created and published in XLSX format
    • I can of course create an XLS format
    • or other Excel export formats
    • (with potential loss of some functions)
    • Do tell me if I should offer the file in another open format to reach other audiences
  • You will need to have use of Excel to use it.
  • I have opened it in Google Sheets
    • but I found that challenging on an iPadPro
    • mostly due to unfamiliarity of sheets’ menus,
    • similar to Excel for windows I guess
  • GBC V2 file size: 12Mb
    • (later versions will get much larger)
    • you will need to have sufficient RAM to open it

  • Thanks for your suggestion, I will investigate, as soon as I have moment to spare.
We are gathering our thoughts following Futurebuild 2022
  • Numerous questions were raised, many of them are already addressed.
  • Others need some thought about how they will be addressed.
  • We are working on it.
13/03/2022
Some more answers soon
How does GBC support asset managers and their financiers?
A visitor to Futurebuild 2022 stand, follow up phone call.
17/03/2022
Following our call we can offer:
Introduction CPD seminars (bespoke to your audience) to you and your clients, Scope:
  • In use and Embodied Energy and Carbon and costs in built assets.
  • Embodied Energy and Carbon and costs in demolishing built assets.
  • In use and Embodied Energy and Carbon and costs in refurbishing built assets
  • Embodied Energy and Carbon and costs in Renewable energy for built assets
  • Where to start when the calculators do not exist, what data sets and equations exist?
  • What do various calculators do and not do.
  • What information and tools are coming?

Non-CPD seminar other activity

  • Training Trainers and Training Users of GBC design and decision tool.
  • We do not have time to offer consultancy, except to show another what can be done with GBC
  • Or we find others to do consultancy using GBC
I hope this helps for now, please keep asking questions
I’m doing my degree in building surveying and I’m just wondering
Could this software work on a large building like a church or just domestic houses?
12/03/2022
GBC V1 was invented to do any new build, including multi-storey
GBC V2 has many roof geometries (may help with churches)
The floor plan of a church may be challenging but users can overwrite some cells with totals calculated elsewhere
GBC needs a worksheet to calculate complex footprints
Form Factor calculations will probably be important to a church form
GBC V2 will already do multiple houses in terraces and apartments in towers and refurbishing existing
Check out Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA)’s Online Survey and Options Appraisal (OA) tools
It is being developed at the moment, OA was created within GBC then exported as GBC B2 and it is getting a new on-line interface
GBC later versions, learning from GBC B2 will do refurbishment of many dwellings very well
GBC later versions still will do circular geometries.

How long will it take to do a full house retrofit analysis?

Via LinkedIN

09/02/2022

I have not carried out a full analysis using GBC yet.
  • So I cannot give you an answer yet.
  • I do hope to try it out for myself to be able to tell all, as soon as I have finished V2 development.
  • I have done all I can to make user’s time as minimal as possible.
  • More and more features will be added.
I have been developing a Retrofit bespoke version of GBC for STBA which integrates with their survey tool.
We are being commissioned to carry out analysis of three remote buildings.
  • The round trip to two remote sites to do surveys will take as long as the analysis.
  • The process will also include development of three new generic house type datasets, not currently in the calculator.
  • Each house is to have two extreme solutions, I have allowed 6 hours each as the primary user process, I hope I am right.

Good day,

I’m a QS working in Auckland New Zealand and I’d like to know if your software would be applicable in New Zealand

Moegammad Soeker

03/11/2021

How much work is required to convert the data to be accurate for use in New Zealand?

Jon Lliffe of eHaus

12/06/2022

  • There is an Australian student using GBC V1 (so near and yet so far)
  • GBC uses SI units so it works internationally
  • GBC is in metric. e.g. mm, m, kg, etc.
  • GBC will NOT work with imperial yard/feet/inches or st stone/lbs pounds/oz ounces
    • UK Government, buoyant form their Brexit fiasco have released a public consultation on de-metrication in retail
    • GBC will not go down that route
    • but if others (from USA?) want to approach GBC to develop it, so be it
  • GBC V2 uses UK£ in fuel costs and bills of quantities/costs but you could still use NZ currency (if of a metric nature)
  • GBC V2 launched April 2022
  • GBC will think about how GBC users can change to any (metric) currency with one click (yes that is doable)
  • GBC V1 & V2 will NOT work with UK historic imperial £sp (we hope Brexit will not lead to having to change)
  • GBC V1 & V2 lists some UK and EU products
  • GBC users can add local, regional, national, continental and global products and datasets
  • GBC has plans to develop Green Building Product Data Collection and Green Building Price Book to feed GBC
  • GBC V1 & V2 lists UK regulations and design standards, but it has places for other national regulations and design standards to be added by the user
  • Once added GBC users can choose their national standards with one cell change, to engage your choice.
  • GBC are keen to collect other national standards and design guides and add them to the GBC core product.
  • There is a ‘Capture national standards’ worksheet
  • Do let GBC know if any of this is a problem (GBC can think about possible solutions)
  • GBC will engage with anybody who wishes to develop local versions of GBC.
  • GBC Version 2 has a full bill of quantities for budgeting, pricing, tendering.
  • GBC later versions will gradually develop a Green Building Price Book.
  • If/when you purchase GBC will know, do keep in touch about problems GBC needs to address for you and any users.

Thank you Brian,

I appreciate the time you have spent to split out the work that would need to be done to make V2 meaningful in NZ.
We are fully metric, I am sure the UK will not be silly enough to revert!
At the moment I am exploring options there are some local tools and as we use the PHPP for every project there is the plugin called PH ribbon which is an option.
My biggest concern with this topic is there is no point counting carbon if it has no impact or change to the materials chosen for construction.
ie we should stop using concrete for our floors and switch to timber floors but it is likely that the market is not ready to accept that as an option at this point in time.
Anyway, thanks for your feedback and commitment to the cause:)
Ngā Mihi_Kind Regards,

Jon Lliffe Mech Prod Eng Director of eHaus

12th June 2022  – 16th June 2022

I do not trust our Boris, we do not have your Prime Minister, I would feel safer in Jacinda’s hands.
With Brexit he allegedly took control of our borders in every way except COVID.
GBC includes PHPP values as an option.
GBC does similar things to PH Ribbon (we were approached by the authors during its development)
BREEAM Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method often made us take days recording what we did, with no incentive to change.
GBC includes EC Targets from: LETI London Energy Transformation Initiative, RIBA 2030 climate challenge, ACAN Architects Carbon action network and TfL Transport for London
Without targets there is no reason or incentive to change anything.
Keep up your good work.

My directors have asked me to look into the Green Building Calculator and I was wondering whether you could please help me with a few queries I have?

Thank you for your Director’s enquiry, very happy to answer.

  • In your description it says that it provides cost information of different materials.
  • Where does this information come from?
  • Is this something that we will have to get from manufacturers and input it manually or does it connect to a database?
  • Initially GBC is populated by your own enquiries from:
    • Manufacturers and suppliers websites
    • Suppliers or installers quotations
    • At Tender stage it can be populated by your tenderer/contractor as a pricing document
  • This information could be used to populate your own rough prices look up table
  • Green Building Calculator (GBC) had originally considered Spon pricing books but the discussions we have had suggest these are not reliable enough and may be contributing to Quantity Surveyors (QS)’s poor cost planning and the ‘race to the bottom’ our industry is experiencing.
  • GBC will seek Manufacturer’s, Supplier’s and Installer’s support to populate the product spreadsheets with cost data.
  • GBC have access to Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) datasets that also include cost data, these will be considered for inclusion in GBC but we will seek confirmation from manufacturers

Green Building Product Data Collection

GBPDC Green Building Product Data Collection

GBPDC V1 Green Building Product Data Collection C#909

GBC GBPDC Man Supplier Form V2 290521


Green Building Price Book

  • How it compares with the PHPP software?
  • I understand that this calculator explores different heating options and doesn’t rely solely on a heat recovery system like Passivhaus, but in terms of the other calculations it does, how does it compare?
  • Does it have the same extent of calculations?
  • My practice is unclear on which licence to purchase.
  • This is not equivalent to PHPP, however you can get an impression of what Passivhaus (PH) or EnerPHit (or AECB’s Carbon Lite & CL Retrofit) will do to your building’s U values, Insulation thicknesses, if you choose it as your energy target.
  • Whilst PH is a great route to low energy in use, GBC knows many may not go that way and may focus on lowering embodied energy (EE) embodied carbon (EC) raising sequestered carbon (SC) and lowering in use carbon (IUC).
  • GBC have developed the whole building & elemental calculators to determine the demand heat source(s) size
  • GBC have also developed the room by room calculator to work out radiator/Under floor heating (UFH) coil sizes or start with boiler size and work out insulation thicknesses to match the boiler.
  • This version of GBC calculator does not have a Services Design Function yet (GBC Version 16 unless we bring it forward, we probably will)
  • GBC have met the man who can help to build this module, GBC will engage with him once version 2 is published.
  • GBC is adding a Services Bill of materials/quantities/costs, EE EC & LCA in version 2 (bringing parts from v3 and v6 much sooner)
  • PHPP software compares the calculated version to the Passivhaus criteria (so gives a benchmark).
  • In your description it says it does a comparison with different standards.
  • Does this mean that it will provide the various criteria for Passivhaus,  BREEAM etc?
  • After a Form factor calculation you are promoted to set your U value targets, then you choose between Regulations, which should be local to the project (e.g. UK’s England & Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland or other national standard) and design standards: UK Green Building Council (UK GBC), Zero Carbon Hub (ZCH), PH EnerPHit, Carbon Lite (CL), Carbon Lite Retrofit (CLR), Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), etc. targets
  • You choose and set targets, the U values permeates the calculator, when you assemble your building elements it tells you Pass, Unregulated Pass or Fail; and GBC will warn of failure with red coloured conditional formatting.

GBE Green Building Calculator Elements U values Basement A15 BRM 280620 PNG

  • This may equate to your benchmarking?
  • You can then adjust insulation thicknesses to get Pass all round.
  • You should use Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) for passivhaus (PH) calculations not GBC.
  • This calculator will help with BREEAM area calculations and speed up some of the tedious fruitless calculations.
  • These calculations are useful as part of the design process, rather than totalling up and changing nothing as happens with BREEAM.
  • Version 3 will have LCA EPD calculations in it. (Brought forwards)  (delayed from Version 2, BRM 03/11/2021)
  • This is based on your own specific or bespoke elemental assemblies, so it is not restricted to the 1200 or so in Green Guide to Specification (GGtS).
  • You get an instant answer without waiting for Building Research Establishment (BRE) to do their bespoke calculations for you.
  • In time Green Building Product Data Collection (GBPDC) datasets will have useful data to support Passivhaus, BREEAM, etc.
  • Is version 3 the latest one on the market?
  • It has a lot of attractive functions!
  • GBC V1 was released June-July 2020
  • GBC V2 will be promoted at Futurebuild March 2022 at stand L68
  • GBC V2 is being developed with Embodied Energy, Embodied Carbon, Sequestered Carbon, Bill of materials, Quantities, etc.
  • GBC V2 should be the one that is needed by many
  • GBC V3 is being developed with Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Product Declaration datasets and calculator

At a Make a Difference (MaD) Hangout #3 presentation:

  • Q&A Session:
  • Does this tool engage with Scope 3?
  • I did not understand the question so could not answer
  • I explained what it does, what data it uses and how it does it.
  • Another delegate said it does
  • Over the following days emails we got to the bottom of the question
  • I gave a better answer by email
Cutting Carbon/Greenhouse/GHG emissions is what IPCC and GHG Protocol are trying to do.
It is a globally accepted framework for systematically trying to lower carbon emission.
Using GHG Protocol, big corporates measure-control-report carbon emissions.
Let us assume that there is company named ABC.
Scope 1 – ABC Company’s own emissions from boiler, turbine, heater, incinerator, air-conditioner, freeze, freezer, etc.
Scope 2 – ABC Company’s own emissions from electricity, gas, etc which is energy purchase
Scope 3 – They are not ABC company’s own carbon emissions, but carbon emissions from its supply chain partners:
  1. Up value chain – Miners-Manufacturers-Suppliers-Transporters, from where material comes to ABC company, so purchasing side.
  2. Down value chain – Customers-Manufactures-Consumers-Transporters-Franchise-Waste. This is the place where ABC company’s goods are sold/consumed.
I hope this helps a bit.

Scope 1:

  • Is Cradle to gate emissions (EN 15804 A1-A3) from company ABC’s in-use energy and in-use carbon, premises-side of the consumer unit
  • (I think I would exclude turbine from your list since it generates energy rather than consume it)
  • I guess it will include improvements due to voltage optimisation premises-side of the consumer unit.
  • I believe LCA of products focusses on impacts and emissions from the production of product to sell,
  • but probably does not try to distinguish between production and accommodation consumption and emissions and just regards it as an overhead of production.
  • I say this on the assumption they do not do sub-metering between factory and office on the same site.
  • I believe that LCA and EPD data is the source and it converts everything to GHG = CO2equivalents.
  • GBC V2 includes LCA EPD datasets for the products used to make a building.

Scope 2:

  • Is emissions in primary energy delivered to your premises. (Part of EN 15804’s A3)
  • To some extent is out of ABCs control (but they can choose a Green Energy Tariff)
  • Depends upon: fuel choice (e.g. Renewable energy v Fossil energy)
  • and varies upon production inefficiency (fuel to steam to generator to electricity),
  • conversion inefficiency (PV DC via Inverter to AC or transformers and voltage drops)
  • and transmission losses (along sunk, overhead or buried cables)
  • I guess it does not address voltage optimisation premises-side of the consumer unit.
  • I believe LCA of products focusses on impacts and emissions from the production of product to sell,
  • it inevitably adds primary energy choices and emissions to the calculations.
  • The LCA will choose main electricity average figure for ABCs country
  • France has a high nuclear % Uk has a significant RE % and reducing fossil %
  • Unless ABC have onsite RE, have access to offsite RE installations or buy Green Tariff and choose it to calculate accordingly.
  • I do have a table for emissions from mains electricity across all EU countries individually
  • (not yet incorporated into GBC V2 calculations but could be added with less than an hours work)
  • I might do that today.

Scope 3:

  • is ABC’s Gate to site emissions (EN 15804’s A4 and any of B1-B6, C1-C4)
  • To some extent outside of ABCs control, influenced through supply chain development, by setting targets for continuing relationship
  • and relates to their supply chain companies own Scope 1 2 (& 3) emissions
  • GBC V2 accommodates and calculates EN 15804 A1-D when any EPD has the information
  • So I believe GBC V2 is Scope 3 compliant if the manufacturers have the data in their EPDs.

I reviewed a bit more on GHG Protocol website.

  • LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) and Supply Chain (Scope 3) are two different approaches to the same solution of carbon emission reduction.
    • Interesting
  • I think, your calculator takes care to reduce carbon emission by carefully selecting product as well as design, so focusing on the right approach of LCA.
    • Good to hear
  • Secondly, supply chain (scope 3) may be irrelevant in your case, as the product (i.e. building) is to be used by the person who buys/rents it. So basically, it is almost at the end of the supply chain (i.e. consumption).
    • Interesting
  • I do not have access to the calculator, but if this calculator has end of life (when building is demolished in future) carbon footprint, then I think you have addressed scope 3.
    • Green Building Encyclopaedia has many screenshots of GBC V2 if you want to see inside.
    • The LCA function has EN 15804 C1-C4 and D so can do the calculation if the data is on the manufacturers EPDs
    • I think that the RICS Document allows a theoretical calculation for C1-C4 and D but I need to investigate it.
  • You seem to have done an amazing job in creating something very difficult.
    • Thank you very much for your kind words, it is not so difficult, as time consuming, it has taken 10 months so far.
    • It would put most people off
    • It would take a big project with a long programme to carry its development as an overhead

At a Construction Excellence Award Panel:

  • Q&A Session: Q1
  • Does the Calculator Address Indoor Air Quality?

GBE and Indoor Air Quality

  • Green Building Calculator Version 2 Does not address Indoor Air Quality
  • Later versions could address it
  • At the time of this panel GBC do not know if Indoor air Quality can be calculated
  • But it will be investigated
  • Sentinel Haus accreditation carries out a physical test within a dwelling, sampling the air in a sealed building over a set period of time.
  • If it is possible to assess the IAQ based on the amount of materials at the internal surfaces based on their ingredients and VOCs then GBC will endeavour to calculate it in later Versions.

At a Construction Excellence Award Panel:

  • Q&A Session: Q2
  • Does the calculator use other external data sources?

GBC sourcing external data

  • GBC V2 Does not yet access external data sources.
  • Later versions will engage with CAD BIM and share dimensions and Bill of Material data.
  • At this stage GBC is being developed with small practices in mind.
  • Larger practices will have CAD BIM and Appropriate Apps.
  • Smaller practices will probably not afford the high end high cost solutions.
  • GBC intends to remain a low cost solution for the majority.
  • Recent survey reports that a significant number of practices have not and probably will not adopt BIM.
  • If they are not doing Government Work there is no requirement.
  • There is a big financial investment to switch from CAD to BIM and hardware to support it.
  • There needs to be Carbon solutions for these practices too.
  • As open data sources grow GBC will seek opportunities to obtain Product datasets from such data sources

GBC as an external Data Source

At a Construction Excellence Award Panel:

  • Q&A Session: Q3
  • Can the Calculator be subdivided and used separately?
GBC CPD Poster 2 Slide23

GBC as a Design and Decision Tool

  • The reasons for creating this calculator include:
    • To enable designers to regain better control of their project
    • To take back control of cost planning away from low cost focussed QSs
    • To enable well informed responses to Cost Cutting disguised as Value Engineering
    • To Reduce the Performance Gap caused by substitution
    • To count energy and carbon
  • Only if your have all the core functions in Version 2 can you have:
    • Cost planning, Tendering, Controlled Price adjustments
    • In use Energy, In use Carbon, In use Cost
    • Embodied Energy, Embodied carbon, Sequestered carbon
    • Pay back periods, Carbon back periods
    • Well informed Value Engineering instead of dumb Cost Cutting
    • Control over the Performance Gap
  • So subdivision has no useful purpose

GBC Subdivision

  • GBC may become a data source in its own right.
  • But only certain parts make sense in that respect:
    • Green Building Product Data Sets
    • Green Building Elemental Assemblies
    • Green Building Price Book
  • It is unlikely that GBC will be subdivided and sold separately

GBC Core and Modules

  • Version 1 was never a complete Green Building Calculator without EE EC SBC & LCA
  • Version 2 has Embodied Energy, Embodied Carbon, Sequestered Carbon and Life Cycle Analysis
  • It is envisages that Versions 2 is the minimum core set of calculators
    • It could be envisaged that this core set could be a minimum package
  • Later Versions will:
    • Reinforce the core calculators
    • Improve the datasets
  • Other later Versions will provide:
    • Additional non-core calculators
    • Further datasets to support these non-core calculators
  • It is envisages that the core will be the sold as a minimum package
  • Non-core calculators and datasets may be sold as extra modules

At a Construction Excellence Award Panel:

  • Q&A Session: Q4
  • How is the data sources used verified as quality data?

GBC and Data Quality

Embodied Carbon

  • Previous versions of Whole Building calculator were based on ICE database 1 to 2
  • Early version of ICE data base includes data from old LCA following inconsistent methods giving rogue results
  • After EN 15804 standard was published all LCA and EPD could follow a consistent method for consistent
  • Now with over 10,000 EN 15804 compliant LCA and EPD
  • ICE database 3 contains many of these EPDs
  • So the Embodied carbon data sub-set is more robust and reliable

Life Cycle Assessment

  • After EN 15804 standard was published all LCA and EPD could follow a consistent method for consistent
  • Now with over 10,000 EN 15804 compliant LCA and EPD
  • EPDs are peer reviewed for consistency
  • LCA Data has been extracted to EPD to test the calculator during development
  • Other LCA data sets will be obtained as they continue to be released into the market and updated on a regular update programme

At a Construction Excellence Award Panel:

  • Q&A Session: Q5
  • What software is GBC created with?

GBC Software

  • GBC version 1 & 2 have been developed in MS Excel
  • For familiarity, easy of use, consistency and competency
  • GBC is following Open Source principles of uncomplicated software
  • GBC have every intentions to keep it that way in all future Versions
  • Any BIM APP may not follow this rule, but if it can it will

At a Construction Excellence Award Panel:

  • Q&A Session: Q6
  • Has GBC been used in real projects and what feedback have you had so far?

GBC Use and Feedback

  • The pre-curser to GBE Whole Building Calculators were used by 50 students at Post Graduate level Architecture year 5 to assess their studio projects, successfully
  • All the part time students took these calculators back to their offices and used then on live projects.
  • One ex student runs his own practice and has used it on all of his projects
  • One of the ex students approached GBC during an Architectural Competition and asked for some help with calculating U values and embodied energy and embodied and sequestered carbon for exiting concrete panels and replacement timber panels and insulation materials options.
  • The same Ex student has approached GBC about doing whole building analysis for them
  • GBC have been working with a 3 person practice to develop the scope of GBC Version 1 & 2
  • GBC Version 1 was released in June 2020
  • The same practice obtained a copy but COVID lockdown happened and all their projects are on hold.
  • So still waiting for a solid break from COVID
  • >70 copies of version 1 are out there, no negative feedback so far.
  • GBC Feedback

At a Construction Excellence Award Panel:

  • Q&A Session: Q7
  • Which job functions do you envisage using GBC?

GBC Users

  • Self Builders, Architectural Technicians, Architects, Surveyors, Interior Designers, Engineers,
  • Specification Writers, Environmental consultants, EAM Assessors
  • Design and Build, Contractor Design Portion and Energy Performance Contractors
  • Potentially: Cost Planners, Quality Surveyor, Value Engineers

Alternative Calculators are out there for:

  • Structural Engineers, Service Engineers, Highway Engineers, Civils and Infrastructure Engineers

GBC CPD on GBE website

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
Satellite Websites: GBE GBL
14th September 2020 – 14th June 2022


Your Questions GBC Answers C#344