Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in accordance to ISO 14040 defines a methodology for compiling and evaluating environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle. The standard is not specific to the construction industry, but the principals can be applied for products, building systems and complete buildings, capturing environmental impacts associated with manufacturing, use and disposal.
Similar to life cycle costing, the assessment can be used as a comparative tool indicating relative environmental impacts of alternatives with a common function. In life cycle assessment the common function is referred to as the functional unit; which typically includes some form of performance specification and a time element, such as a cooling system that delivers 200,000kWh of cooling annually to an office with a 25kW peak load. Once the functional unit is defined, accumulation of environmental impacts is required for the inputs, output and emissions associated with the product system assessed with actual quantities to provide the functional unit.
New BSRIA Life Cycle Assessment guide and free download
BSRIA’s new guide to Life Cycle Assessment is an introduction for those who are new to the concept or who need a reminder of the basics. The LCA process has been divided into four key steps:
Step 1 ** download for free now ** - Identify Goal and Scope – define the boundaries and the functional unit
Step 2 – Model the processes and resources involved in the product system, collate the Life Cycle Inventories of these processes and resources, and generate any new inventories required
Step 3 – Analyse Life Cycle Impacts in terms of mid-points (impact categories) and end-points (system categories)
Step 4 – Evaluate and Interpret results and generate report for decision making
Read more about the Life Cycle Assessment guide and buy full hard digital copies now.