Urban planning has a long history of defining, measuring, and attempting to optimize urban density and form. Historical and continuing trends, including increasing urbanisation, growth of cities, more buildings, more square meters per inhabitant, and the need for new infrastructure and services, present new challenges. Municipalities often lack the background data and methodology to independently estimate the materials, energy, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with new developments. Moreover, current policy strategies and forthcoming EU and national regulations regarding climate change mitigation require the ability to quantify and visualise the consequences of new developments when considering different options regarding building types, settlement patterns, and further development of urban or rural areas.
The Embodied Energy and Emission Settlement tool (EES-Tool) was developed through the research project EE Settlement – Embodied Energy, Costs and Traffic in Different Settlement Patterns (2017-2021, NFR project number: 270842), with the goal of addressing the need of several actors for a user friendly and transparent tool. The EES-Tool is a web-based tool designed to allow different user groups to quickly assess and compare embodied and operational energy and GHG emissions attributable to buildings, infrastructure and car transport generated by residents, and public costs related to new development projects.
The EES-Tool was developed based on existing national and international methodologies and databases, to get a broader picture of the environmental and economic outcomes in the early planning phase of an area development. For consideration of further development of the EES-Tool, Path4EES focused on getting better insights on the market potential and customer needs, identified relevant actors and tools, and explored pathways for commercialisation of the tool, resulting in the most suitable realisation strategy for commercialization of the EES-Tool.
The EES-Tool described in Path4EES can enable private and public sectors to fulfil current policy strategies and forthcoming EU and national environmental goals through quantification and visualisation of the consequences of new developments when considering different options regarding building types, settlement patterns, and further development of urban or rural areas. The EES-Tool can support municipalities to achieve national, regional, and local emission reduction ambitions and goals through the ability to evaluate, document, and follow up the environmental performance of new development areas and secure green loans for climate-friendly investments in the municipal sector. The EES-Tool can also support authorities to set ambitious but achievable GHG emission reduction goals, evaluate and make informed decisions, and transparently communicate the status of different development projects.
Specifically, with regards to the EES-Tool, Path4EES:
1. provided better insights on market potential and customer needs, with a report based on interviews and a market survey by external partner Impello. We learned that bigger municipalities and private developers may use the EES-Tool directly and may have needs to incorporate and analyse the results. Smaller municipalities and developers usually use consultants.
2. identified relevant actors and tools, through desk research, network groups, interviews, and meetings.
3. concluded on possible pathways for commercialisation of the EES-Tool, with a Business Model Canvas and forecasted revenues and expenses for the most suitable potential realisation strategy, and also a plan for further follow up to commercialize EES-Tool.
The most suitable realisation strategy for commercialization of the EES-Tool at this stage is for SINTEF to offer the EES-Tool on a secure IT-Platform, either alone or with partners. The project has initiated a dialogue with Asplan Viak which is the main consultant firm used by municipalities and private developers for sustainability evaluations of new development projects. This dialogue may offer new pathways for commercialization of the Tool.