LCA submission stage – ‘Concept design’ and ‘Technical design’

As a building design passes through successive design stages increasingly more aspects of the design become fixed. Accordingly, the opportunity for building LCA to guide the design towards lower environmental impacts reduces. Therefore, more credits are available for building LCA submission at ‘concept design’ stage than at ‘technical design’ stage.

The stage reached will often be the same for the whole project. However, on some projects each of the three scope types of the Mat 01 issue; ‘Superstructure’, ‘Substructure and hard landscaping’ and ‘Core Building Services’ may be at different stages. For each scope type, the most developed aspect of it determines its stage. For example, if the roof design is at ‘concept design’ stage but the façade is at ‘technical design’ stage, all of ‘superstructure’ is considered to be at the ‘technical design’ stage. Where unclear, confirmation of the design stage for each aspect should be sought from the project team.

Each scope type can be assessed independently according to its stage. However, it should be noted that neither ‘Substructure and hard landscaping’ or ‘Core Building Services’ can be submitted unless ‘Superstructure’ is also submitted. If ‘Superstructure’ is at ‘concept design’ and ‘Substructure and hard landscaping’ is at a later stage, ‘Superstructure’ (only) can be submitted at ‘concept design’. But if ‘Superstructure’ is at a stage later than ‘concept design’ (or if detailed planning consent has been applied for) nothing can be submitted at ‘concept design’.

Some projects may have to revisit aspects of the design, for example, as a result of a refusal to grant planning permission or due to a significant change to the brief. In cases where evidence is provided that this results in one or more of the scope types reverting to ‘concept design’ (and planning consent not being granted) or ‘technical design’, as determined according to information above, it is acceptable to assess new design options for the scope type at the reverted design stage and resubmit.