Got questions about LCA, SolidWorks Sustainability, and how they can help you design for the environment? Check out some of the most frequently asked below.
- What is SolidWorks Sustainability?
- Why did DS SolidWorks develop/decide to offer this product?
- What is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?
- What metrics does SolidWorks Sustainability use to report environmental impacts?
- Where does the data for the product come from?
- How accurate are the results from this product?
- Is the accuracy of SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress and the full version of the SolidWorks Sustainability product the same?
- Who should use this product?
- How can I get SolidWorks Sustainability?
- How will the SolidWorks Sustainability products be supported?
- How does SolidWorks Sustainability compare to SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress?
- Will SolidWorks Sustainability products be included with SolidWorks?
- When will SolidWorks Sustainability products be available?
- Why is the full SolidWorks Sustainability product being sold as Beta at SolidWorks SP0?
- How much does it cost?
- Is network licensing available?
- Which languages will be available?
SolidWorks Sustainability allows users to measure the environmental impact of the products they design in SolidWorks. The SolidWorks Sustainability products are fully integrated into SolidWorks, and provide real-time feedback on the environmental impacts of Carbon Footprint, Total Energy Consumed, Effect on Water, and Effect on Air.
We see SolidWorks Sustainability as a timely product. Many countries around the world have made environmental concerns a growing priority, and both individuals and companies are making more buying decisions based on the eco-friendliness of products. As this market need grows, SolidWorks Sustainability enables our customers to build environmentally responsible products that better compete in a variety of markets.
This is a method to quantitatively assess the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire lifecycle, from the procurement of the raw materials through the production, distribution, use, disposal, and recycling of that product. To learn more, visit our LCA page.
- Air Acidification – Burning fuels creates sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and other acidic air emissions. This causes an increase in the acidity of rainwater, which in turn acidifies lakes and soil. These acids can make the land and water toxic for plants and aquatic life. Acid rain can also slowly dissolve manmade building materials such as concrete. This impact is typically measured in units of kg sulfur dioxide equivalent (SO2).
- Carbon Footprint – Carbon dioxide and other gasses resulting from burning fossil fuels accumulate in the atmosphere, which in turn increases the earth’s average temperature. Also known as Global Warming Potential (GWP), carbon footprint is measured in units of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Scientists, politicians, and others blame global warming for problems like loss of glaciers, extinction of species, and more extreme weather, among others.
- Total Energy Consumed – This is a measure of the non-renewable energy sources associated with the part’s lifecycle in units of megajoules (MJ). This impact includes not only the electricity or fuels used during the product’s lifecycle, but also the upstream energy required to obtain and process these fuels, and the embodied energy of materials that would be released if burned. Total energy consumed represents the net calorific value of primary energy demand from non-renewable resources (e.g. petroleum, natural gas, etc.). Efficiencies in energy conversion (e.g. power, heat, steam, etc.) are also factors.
- Water Eutrophication - Eutrophication occurs when an overabundance of nutrients are added to a water ecosystem. Nitrogen and phosphorous from wastewater and agricultural fertilizers causes an overabundance of algae to bloom, which then depletes the water of oxygen and results in the death of both plant and animal life. This impact is typically measured in either kg phosphate equivalent (PO4) or kg nitrogen (N) equivalent.
The data used by SolidWorks Sustainability is provided by PE International of Stuttgart, Germany. They have provided software and consulting services in sustainable design and LCA for almost 20 years. PE International’s database and its GaBi software are used within SolidWorks Sustainability. To learn more about PE International, visit their website.
The values in SolidWorks Sustainability are useful to within +/- 20% and should be used as an estimate. The more accurate way of using the product is to track the relative changes from one version of a design to the next. It is this relative change between versions that provides an accurate indicator of environmental improvement.
Is the accuracy of SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress and the full version of the SolidWorks Sustainability product the same?
Almost any SolidWorks user can use this product, but customers who are interested in sustainable design will benefit most. All SolidWorks users can benefit from the Find Similar Material tool.
SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress will be included in every seat of SolidWorks 2010 at no additional charge or is available to SolidWorks 2009 users through the SolidWorks Labs website. The full version of SolidWorks Sustainability is available for purchase through your local reseller.
Like all SolidWorks products, resellers will provide direct support to customers. To learn more about customer support, visit our product support page.
Each product's key offerings are below. A full product feature matrix can be found here.
LCA of individual parts
Find Similar Material
Environmental Impact dashboard
Customizable Sustainability report
Same capabilities as SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress plus…
LCA of assemblies
Support for Configurations
Expanded reporting capabilities for assemblies
User inputs for energy consumption and transportation methods
Support for the new Assembly Visualization functionality
SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress will be included in every seat of SolidWorks 2010 at no additional charge. The full version of SolidWorks Sustainability will not be included with SolidWorks; it is available for purchase.
- will be available for sale as a Beta product when SolidWorks 2010 SP0 is released. Users will be able to use the Beta once they purchase and will automatically get the final released product when it is available.
- will be formally released with SP1 in November.
- is currently available as a free add-on product to SolidWorks 2009 and SolidWorks Education Edition 2009-2010 through the SolidWorks Labs website.
- will be included with every version of SolidWorks 2010 at SP0.
Due to the added complexity of having an Xpress (and Labs) version of the product, we increased our normal development time. We want to use the additional time to ensure we deliver a quality product. Customers who buy the product as Beta will receive full support and automatically get the full production product at SP1.
SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress is a free product. For pricing on the full SolidWorks Sustainability product, please contact your local reseller.
SolidWorks Sustainability will be available in 14 languages: English, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Czech, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.