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Welcome to GaBi 4.4!

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Congratulations for successfully updating to the newest version of GaBi GaBi 4.4!

Wed like to introduce you to the newest features of GaBi 4.4 as well as update you about some of the things that we have changed. Weve been very busy over the last months putting together a whole lot of changes in the software in response to changes within the LCA industry. Weve also responded to your requests for new functionality. Of course, we also extended database content and the way database information can be used, fixed bugs and worked on the performance of the software. Lets take a quick look at the themes. Perhaps the most obvious changes are related to the implementation of the ILCD Format in GaBi 4.4. Most of these changes relate to the way you document your modelling within the software but weve also added new datasets. Weve added Life Cycle Working Environment and Land Use information to the database and split the existing carbon dioxide flows into CO2 from fossil resources and CO2 from renewable resources.

With increased pressure in the form of governmental regulations, Environmental Product Declarations or EPDs have become much more important and weve added some features to GaBi 4.4 that will assist you to adhere to regulations and comply with certification systems. Youll also notice that GaBi 4.4 looks a little different with additional fields here and there. Ill explain these changes as well as a bunch of other updates in the other changes section. As with all GaBi updates this update includes a number of database improvements including the addition of over 350 new datasets. Finally, if you are an i-report user, we made a couple of small changes that should improve the way you edit your i-reports. Well start by taking a look at the implementation of the ILCD format in GaBi 4.4. Your GaBi Team

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ILCD System Implementation

The International reference Life Cycle Data System, or ILCD, is a system designed to increase the awareness and use of life cycle thinking and life cycle assessment through scientific robustness, quality assurance and consensus building. The system was developed by the European Unions Joint Research Centre in Ispra in a consultation process that took into consideration the knowledge and experience of the European Unions member countries, representatives from global and regional industry associations and individuals and experts from various database projects and academic institutions. In addition, an advisory group of LCA software and database developers and an advisory group of LCIA method developers were consulted. Lets take a look at the DB manager. Youve probably noticed already that the content area looks a little different from 4.3. Weve modified the way objects are displayed in the content area so that you can see more information as documented according to the ILCD systems naming nomenclature. This new format is now the standard display format in the DB Manager, project window, search window and GPR export window. The advantage is that you can see the differences between similar objects much more easily. Of course, if you decide that you prefer the old way of viewing objects you can turn off this function by selecting View and deselecting Details. One aspect of the ILCD system has been the development of a standard method for documenting process level meta data for your LCA project. In GaBi, process documentation used to be stored in external files. Not anymore. When you work in GaBi now, youll notice that when you click on the Documentation tab, things look a little different.

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While were here, its worth pointing out that the Ecospold tab has been removed. More about this later. The Documentation tab allows you to record extensive information regarding datasets including general information about the processes quantitative and technical representativeness, which LCI method principle and allocation were used and data sources. You can also record validation information and administration information including the dataset generator, dataset ownership and publication information. Most of the fields allow you to enter text. Just click in a box and start typing. In a number of the fields youll notice a little pair of binoculars. Experienced GaBi users will know that this activates the search function. Clicking on the binoculars opens the search window where and you can search for the required object. For example, under the Process Information section, in the Technological representativeness field, you can click on the binoculars to search for processes included in this dataset and document the link between them.

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You can also insert images into the documentation. For example, you can add a pictogramme of the modelled technology by clicking on the image icon next to pictogramme of Technology and locating the relevant file. For a number of the fields, weve also implemented menus that allow you to select the appropriate entry. For example in the LCI method approaches section you can select which allocation method was used.

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With respect to validating your datasets you need to include a complete review report. Youll notice in the Scope of Review section you can indicate which review methods were used to review a series of important aspects of the dataset. For example, the reviewer can indicate that a mass balance and energy balance was conducted. The reviewer can also enter a response for various quality indicators. The reviewers name and institution can be entered by clicking on the binoculars and searching for the appropriate contact. In the Complete Review Report section, clicking on the book opens a new citation window where you can add the necessary information for the citation and contact person. Alternatively you can click on the binoculars to activate the search function to locate the relevant citation.

By clicking on the Add Review button you can also add more reviews to your documentation.
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For those who prefer the old way of adding documentation through external files, youll be happy to know that this is still possible. We realised that adding all of this documentation can be a long and tiring process. So, we included the Adopt Info button. Clicking on the Adopt Info button activates the search function allowing you to search for a process whose documentation completely or partially matches the current process. By selecting and accepting a process, its documentation will be copied into the current process where you can further modify and complete it.

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If we take a look back at the DB manager, youll notice that there are two new menu items: Contacts and Reference, Citation.

The Contacts folder allows you to enter contact information in much the same way that you enter other information in GaBi. With the Contact item selected, you can right click in the content area and select New to enter a new Contact in your database. In the new contact window you can enter the relevant information for the contact person and link this person to another organisation. You can do this by clicking on the binoculars and searching for the organisation to which this person belongs. Alternatively, if this organisation does not yet exist in the database, you can click on the Contacts icon and enter another new contact.

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The Reference, Citation folder stores all your literature references. In the same way that you create other objects in GaBi, select this folder and right click in the content area. Selecting New will open a new window where you can enter citation information including the citation name, reference, publication type and general comments. You can also indicate who this citation belongs to. For example if the citation belongs to PE INTERNATIONAL you can click on the binoculars and search for PE INTERNATIONAL. Alternatively, you can enter a new contact person directly by clicking on the contact icon. To improve access to LCA data a number of leading tool developers agreed to provide an import/export interface that allows ILCD format files to be imported to and exported from the most widely used tools. GaBi 4.4 allows you to export your database in ILCD format simply by clicking on Database, Export and selecting ILCD. Please keep in mind, the ILCD export function only works for processes. You cannot export plans in the ILCD format. Despite our best efforts, due to methodological limitations, it is unfortunately not possible to import ELCD databases (in ILD format) into GaBi. In order to be able to import ILCD data we need to understand the way the flows should interact with other GaBi datasets. At this stage, the ELCD flow list, containing impact assessment characterisation factors have not yet been released meaning that we cannot make the relevant calculations during the import.

We are, however, happy to announce that the entire ELCD database is included in the GaBi 4.4 update so you shouldnt need to do any importing anyway.

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The last change weve made, in accordance with the ILCD implementation, was to modify the process type categorisations. These were previously a blank entry for a cradle to gate process, a b for basic process or gate to gate process or a pl for a partly linked process. The new process types aim to standardise the way processes are categorised and now include 5 types: u-so indicates a unit process, single operation this is what we used to call a basic process. u-bb indicates a unit process, black box agg indicates an LCI result this received a blank entry in GaBi 4.3. p-agg indicates a partly terminated system and used to be referred to as a partly linked process. aps indicates an avoided product system For more detailed information about the ILCD system you can visit the ILCD website:

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Life Cycle Working Environment - LCWE

One of the big issues within the LCA field at the moment is how to integrate social aspects in LCA. The Life Cycle Engineering Department at the University of Stuttgart has been working on this issue extensively with the result that GaBi 4.4 includes the first database information that allows you to do exactly this. Weve implemented the Life Cycle Working Environment method (or LCWE) into the 4.4 database. This method allows quantitative tracking of social aspects throughout a products life cycle on the basis of seconds of labour per value added. In the process window you are now able to enter information regarding the social aspects of the process. Clicking on the LCWE tab reveals a number of input areas. The Qualified Working Time section allows you to enter the amount of working time for internal and external activities. Internal activities represent all activities occurring within the established system boundary. External activities include all activities outside the established system boundary. Youll notice that the flows are divided into various GQLs. GQL stands for general qualification level and refers to the skill level of the person undertaking the work. You can see that it is possible to enter the amount of time according to various units such as the seconds worked, hours, person days or person years. Under the Health and Safety section you can enter the number of lethal accidents and serious non-lethal accidents that occurred internally and externally. You can also enter the amount of time classified as having unhealthy labour conditions.

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In the Humanity of Working Conditions section, various humanitarian aspects of the working environment can be recorded. For example you can specify how much time is spent using childrens labour and forced labour. When we take a look at the balance view you can see that there is now information contained in the LCWE tab. This information allows you to analyse an additional aspect of your product system and can be used to generate charts in the same way as other balance information.

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Land Use
In addition to Life Cycle Working Environment, another major theme in LCA is how to take into account the impacts of land use. Weve been working together with the Life Cycle Engineering Department at the University of Stuttgart to integrate site-specific impact flows for land use processes. In short, the Life Cycle Engineering department has developed a tool called LANCA that calculates site-specific characterisation factors and impacts. Weve integrated these results into some of the aggregated processes within the GaBi 4.4 update. We are also happy to report that this approach is generally compatible with the framework set up by the UNEP-SETAC taskforce Operational Characterization factors for land use impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services in the life-cycle impact assessment. When defining new processes you now have the possibility of entering a number of new land use indicator value flows including erosion resistance and ground water replenishment. You can enter these as inputs in your process. The other place you will notice these new flows is in the quantities drop down menu in the balance view. You can now choose to view the results for each of the new land use indicator values.

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If you select the quantity view in the balance window youll notice a new row on the input side called Land use quantities where you can view all of the different land use indicator value results. If youd like to learn more about calculating land use impacts there is an excellent free publication which you can access by clicking on this link:

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Carbon Dioxide Flows

There has long been discussion regarding whether or not the carbon dioxide flows within an LCA model should be split into two flows; CO2 from fossil resources and CO2 from biotic or renewable resources. Weve come to the conclusion that they should. In fact, by modelling the CO2 flows in this way, we believe that you will be able to model CO2 according to the most relevant and well-known CO2 modelling techniques such as PAS 2050 and the GHG Protocol. It is important to point out that we have not split the CO2 flows to force you to model them in a particular way or according to a particular method (we do not give preferential treatment to one particular approach). On the contrary, this change allows you to remain flexible in the way that you calculate and analyse your results. In GaBi there are now four CO2 flows; a carbon dioxide resource flow, a carbon dioxide product flow, carbon dioxide as an emission to air and carbon dioxide (biotic) as an emission to air. This level of differentiation between different types of carbon dioxide is particularly useful when your assessment includes the utilisation of renewable resources, where you would like to better understand how much carbon dioxide is embedded in a product and the contribution of natural CO2 emissions and fossil CO2 emissions. When you look at your balance youll see that on the input side there is typically only one CO2 flow. This makes sense since all carbon dioxide comes from the atmosphere. On the output side, apart from the carbon dioxide as chemical product flow, you can see two carbon dioxide emission flows: carbon dioxide emissions from fossil resources and carbon dioxide emissions from biotic or renewable resources. One of the most important aspects to understand is that the difference between the carbon dioxide input and the carbon dioxide (biotic) flow represents the carbon dioxide embedded in the product. It was not easy to
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see this in the balance view in GaBi 4.3. It is also important to note that the fossil carbon dioxide emission to air is in no way related to the carbon dioxide input and typically gives a good indication how much CO2 arises from standard energy generation. If we look at the global warming potential view and aggregate the results, the net carbon dioxide emission becomes clear. These changes could be described in much more detail. For now, it suffices to say that they should improve your ability to analyse the roles of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil resources and from renewable resources according to various approaches.

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Environmental Product Declarations - EPDs

Over the last year we have received an increasing number of enquiries regarding how to use GaBi to support the development of EPDs. Weve seen increasing participation of our clients in various EPD schemes too. We thought it would make sense to provide additional support to those needing to produce EPD information and reports. An EPD dataset contains the documentation plus the selected indicators required by EPD databases like the German kobau.dat and the European Sustainable Construction database ESUCO. When you go to the ILCD Documentation tab youll notice in the top right corner a button called Highlight EPD Fields. Clicking this button highlights the fields most commonly required for documentation of an EPD dataset. You should be aware that in order to make this useful for the largest number of users the Highlight EPD fields function does not provide the complete set of documentation for a specific EPD system but rather, a generalised set that should fit most requirements. You can export your EPD dataset as an xml file by selecting the object in your database, clicking Database, Export, EPD... The created file can then be opened in a web browser using a stylesheet where you can print it out if required. In the same way that the Highlight EPD fields button works, you can click on the Highlight Ecospold Fields button to highlight the fields necessary for completing ecospold format documentation. As with the EPDs, you can export the documentation as an xml file. Locate the object in the database, click on Database, Export and ecospold. This will export an ecospold format document that can be viewed and printed from a web browser.

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Other Changes
Up until now if you wanted to group processes you needed to apply a grouping to every relevant process. In the case where you had a complex tree structure, with a lot of plans within plans, you needed to go into every sub plan and apply the relevant grouping to each process. Weve changed the way this works so that you can now apply grouping on a plan level. The advantage now is that you can apply a grouping to a large number of processes and plans at the same time. So you only need to apply a grouping to a top level plan and this grouping will be applied to all plans and processes contained within. This should save you a lot of time when grouping. You have, no doubt, at some point in your GaBi modelling career clicked on the restore button next to the save button. This button restored your GaBi model to its last saved state. Well, the good news is that this little button is gone. But the function remains you can still find it under Object, Restore. You wont ever have the situation again where you accidentally click on the restore button instead of save.

GaBi 4.3

GaBi 4.4

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Database Improvements
In addition to functional changes in GaBi 4.4 we have also updated the databases with new information, updated datasets with, for example land use, Life Cycle Working Environment and CO2 changes and, in some cases, added completely new datasets. Perhaps the largest database change is the addition of the ELCD database. Not to be confused with the ILCD format, the ELCD database or European Life Cycle Database adds 317 currently available datasets to your GaBi database covering a wide range of common industrial activity. For more information about the ELCD datasets you can visit the ELCD website: We added a number of new datasets that have resulted from our cooperation with Worldsteel and Eurofer. These include new datasets for various grades of stainless steel, coils and quarto plates. The European Aluminium Association has provided us with new aluminium recycling datasets and a new dataset for aluminium foil production. In total, we have added 27 new datasets from Worldsteel, 9 from Eurofer and 6 from the European Aluminium Association. The previously released GaBi construction database has also been extensively updated and extended to include a massive 600 new datasets and pushing the total number of datasets to around 800. These cover materials, building processes and different kinds of building systems such as electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning. Together with new datasets for an elevator and for the end of life treatment of various materials this database enables the modelling of entire buildings.
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In response to your feedback weve added a couple of new functions to the ireport software. When you are creating an i-report you often insert tables. In the past the method for defining the number of digits shown in the table was quite limited. You can now select which number format you would like to use in much the same way as in other software tools like Excel. So, right click on a table and select Properties. In the properties window click on the Formatting tab. Here you see a new drop down menu called Format Pattern where you can choose from a list of predefined formats. You can also select the position of the comma and how many digits should appear after the comma. If we take a look at the variables tab you could previously enter the name of the variable, select the type and define a plan or process and quantity to be displayed. This was ok for most users, but in response to your requests you now have the freedom here to select a scenario and define formulas. Heres how.

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You can see that there is a new Scenario/Formula column. This column allows you to select which scenario should be referenced in this variable. Simply choose one of the scenarios form the currently active scenario group. Youll notice that in the type column you can now choose Formula. By selecting the formula type you can enter a formula into the scenario/formula column in exactly the same way that you would enter formulas in the parameters section. Be aware that you can also reference other variables within this variables table. This variable can then be added into your i-report by right clicking, selecting Insert and selecting the variable that you would like to insert. Just like before, you can also select Insert, New Variable. This opens the variable window where you can now define a formula as well.

So thats about it. We hope these changes will help you get even more out of your GaBi software. If you have questions about any of these changes or about any of the GaBi products please get in touch with your GaBi Team representative. If you are not sure who that is, please go to the GaBi website for more information.

Viel Spa!

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