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CO2 footprint calculation

Sustainability in the building sector has become a major topic worldwide and multiple European countries are working on implementing regulations. This means that we must investigate new ways to assess a building's climate impact already from the early stages.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a detailed method for assessing a building's footprint and is still undergoing rapid development in line with increasing demand. However, it is a method that requires a large amount of data on included processes.

It is crucial to be able to consider the environmental impact in the initial phases of a project, so that you can continuously see how the geometry and choice of materials can affect the final result. For example, testing different material compositions on e.g. the load-bearing structure, facades, roof, etc. This saves both architects and engineers time, as it provides a better prerequisite for achieving the desired results in the final design LCA.

What is Design LCA?

System: Win / MAC

Language: EN / DA

Archicad version: 26

Price: Free

DesignLCA is a free add-on for Archicad that easily allows you to calculate LCA on your BIM project from early sketching. The best thing is that you don’t even have to be a LCA expert!

With this method designers can (fairly) easy get a reading of your projects CO2 footprint where both construction and operation is taken into consideration.

All illustrations show projects from Lendager Architects in Archicad.

What data it uses?

DesignLCA calculates U-values and simulates the energy consumption from the building's operations directly on the 3D model, which no other LCA calculators are able to.

– By using BIM to calculate LCA, you don’t have to enter the quantities manually.

DesignLCA comes with a number of pre-set materials with sustainability data so you don't have to fiddle with EPDs or be an LCA expert. This means that you can use LCA as a design tool from the early sketching stages.

How to get it?

  1. Download the file. It is downloaded as a bundle with this manual and an XML-file with properties for windows and doors.

  2. Import the add-on: Options > Add-on Manager. Then DesignLCA is added to listen via 'Add'. When this is done, Archicad must restart, after which a new tab will appear in the toolbar of Archicad's window.


  • In INT version values and settings need to be adjusted to meet your local regulations, demands and EPD's.

  • It's a "public beta", so it's not fully developed. Formfaktor ApS and GRAHISOFT Center Danmark make DesignLCA available free of charge, but do not take responsibility for any errors in the product or in the calculations performed with DesignLCA. Always make sure to adapt Archicad and DesignLCA for your project.

  • DesignLCA contains a number of materials and composite building parts with preset data from ÖKOBAUDAT. This means you don’t have to find your own EPDs. You can import materials and composites to Archicad and them in your Template.

  • DesignLCA comes with a manual that shows you how easy it is to get started with the LCA calculations.

  • With DesignLCA, you can read the LCA result directly in the software or save the result as an Excel file.

  • DesignLCA is developed by Lendager Architects and Formfaktor Aps.

Where to download?

The add-on is available on the developer's websites:

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