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Bentley adds lifecycle assessment, carbon calculation reporting for digital twins

March 30, 2022
The integration of the One Click LCA and Bentley iTwin platforms enables life cycle assessment and embodied carbon calculation capabilities for infrastructure digital twins, allowing engineers to add environmental impact workflows.

Infrastructure engineering software specialist Bentley Systems (NASDAQ: BSY) this month announced the availability of integrated workflows for lifecycle assessment (LCA) and embodied carbon calculation capabilities in the Bentley iTwin platform to support the sustainable-development goals of infrastructure projects. The new platform integration capabilities are a result of Bentley’s collaboration with One Click LCA Ltd., a lifecycle assessment and environmental product declaration software used in the global construction sector.

The One Click LCA software can be used for buildings, infrastructure, renovations, construction products and materials, and portfolios. Bentley notes that the One Click LCA platform is used in over 100 countries by manufacturers, consultants, designers, contractors, and investors to decarbonize the entire construction value chain.

The partnership is billed as "a natural step in Bentley’s strategy for empowering its users to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs), particularly addressing climate action and decarbonizing infrastructure. Infrastructure digital twin solutions will be an essential enabler and accelerator of carbon transparency and disclosure use cases, and the adoption of digital twin solutions will help accelerate the transformation of infrastructure performance," the company added in a statement.

The Bentley iTwin platform is billed as an open, scalable, platform-as-a-service offering enabling an ecosystem of developers to create and bring to market solutions that solve real infrastructure problems by leveraging digital twins. With the platform integration, Bentley’s iTwin infrastructure digital twin solutions and third party applications built on the Bentley iTwin platform can new perform infrastructure lifecycle assessment workflows. 

Kaustubh Page, director of product management, Bentley iTwin platform, commented, “We are excited to see developers in the Bentley iTwin platform ecosystem tackling sustainability and carbon reduction challenges. Tracking the environmental impact of an infrastructure project involves a constant stream of design changes coming from various engineering disciplines. By unifying these data streams, users can quickly create a quantity takeoff report at the right aggregation level required for LCA calculations while reducing the lifecycle assessment workflow from weeks to hours. We are excited to see engineering firms build fully automated lifecycle assessment workflows for their infrastructure projects.”

The company notes that designers and sustainability engineers spend a significant amount of time assessing or reporting on the environmental footprint of infrastructure projects. With multiple design tools used in these projects, a typical lifecycle analysis can be time consuming, especially when manually exporting and aggregating data from bills of quantity and bills of material. It can also be error-prone, requiring additional verification of successful ingestion by LCA tools.

The One Click LCA integration creates time savings and improves accuracy, contends Bentley. Users can incorporate engineering data created by diverse design tools into a single view using the Bentley iTwin platform, generate a unified report of materials and quantities and share it with One Click LCA via cloud synchronization. This integration gives users the ability to analyze environmental footprints, accelerate environmental reporting, perform project optioneering, and optimize the selection of materials and products.

Rodrigo Fernandes, director ES(D)G (empowering sustainable development goals), noted, “Infrastructure engineers are at the forefront of disrupting climate change. And our collective conscious is that climate change and its effects won’t be solved without strong collaboration and ecosystem partnerships. One Click LCA can actively contribute by helping our users accelerate their low-carbon pathways—adopting low-carbon materials and products, minimizing resource consumption, and optimizing structural design—in every type of infrastructure, not just vertical infrastructure.”

With the ability to integrate lifecycle assessment workflows with the Bentley iTwin platform, both companies contend users will be empowered with new opportunities for environmental intelligence around embodied carbon and environmental footprints of linear infrastructure projects.

Panu Pasanen, CEO, One Click LCA Ltd., commented, “We are very pleased to work with Bentley Systems to automate carbon accounting and reduction using the Bentley iTwin platform. Bentley’s focus in civil engineering and infrastructure with this integration make automated lifecycle assessment finally a reality also for public works. This partnership allows infrastructure designers and contractors, as well as contracting authorities anywhere in the world, to coordinate, calculate, and reduce carbon, as well as other environmental impacts of their projects. The speed and ease of the automation will also be greatly appreciated by projects pursuing third-party environmental certifications, such as PAS 2080, CEEQUAL, Envision, LEED, and BREEAM or regulatory tools. We keep working with Bentley to develop further innovations in this space, such as circularity assessment tools.”

Kelvin Saldanha, associate at WSP, concluded, “iTwin has quickly become an indispensable platform on some of our largest projects. It has made our federated models even more accessible and has brought a new simplicity to multidisciplinary coordination, making for more robust design reviews, conflict detection, and issue resolution. The integration between iTwin and One Click LCA is a potential game-changer in offering unprecedented efficiency to our carbon calculation and lifecycle analysis workflows. We are so excited to see iTwin services continue to evolve and are keen to see how this will bring us another step closer to realizing WSP’s Net Zero ambitions.”

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