The Precinct Carbon Assessment (PCA) Tool was developed at the University of South Australia as part of the Integrated Carbon Metrics Project (RP2007). The main focus of the PCA tool is to examine the whole life cycle of carbon emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) on the precinct scale and to calculate different low carbon scenarios, including travel modes and renewable energy systems, for precincts and precinct development projects.
The PCA tool:
i) assesses predicted and operational carbon performance;
ii) offers three levels of precinct carbon modelling, i.e. the building level, the product level and the material level;
iii) quantitatively evaluates low carbon scenarios to inform ‘Business as Usual’ types of development;
iv) supports planners, designers, ESD consultants and government agencies for more effective planning and mitigation; and
v) operate across states, urban settings, and the development project life cycle.
The PCA tool is not bound by data sources. It allows users to adjust precinct morphological settings, building types, travelling modes, renewable system options, and the carbon intensity data of precinct objects for conducting quantitative analysis and finding the optimal solutions.
A web version of the PCA tool, i.e. the PCA-‘Light’, can be accessed at: https://precinculators.info/. It supports ‘Basic’ assessment and reporting functions. The tool also has a Matlab version, i.e. the PCA-‘Full’, that is accessible via Remote Desktop Connection. This full version provides advanced modelling and scenario assessment functions and is compliant with the “NCOS Standard for Precincts” (http://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/government/carbon-neutral/ncos). Both versions of the PCA tool have been reviewed and tested for further industry utilisation.
The PCA tool can be applied to Greenfield- or Greyfield-type development for Residential, Commercial or Mixed-use precincts. The spatial scales in modelling and assessments include Street, Neighbourhood, Subdivision and Suburb, as well as CBD. It can support assessment of the potential for realising carbon neutrality for new precinct developments and refurbishments.