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What is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in construction?

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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies the potential environmental impact of products or services during their entire life cycle.

With Life Cycle Assessment, it is possible to calculate the environmental impact of your building throughout its whole life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials to the construction and use phases, and finally, demolition and disposal.

Product life cycle

The LCA process is a standardised, phased approach and consists of four steps:

  1. Goal definition and scoping
  2. Inventory analysis
  3. Impact assessment
  4. Interpretation

Step 1: Definition of Goal and Scope
In the first phase of the LCA process, we define what we want to analyse and how we want to analyse it.
We have to define the life cycle of our building, the implications we want to analyse and how far we want to go with our analysis.

Step 2: Inventory analysis
Identify and quantify the environmental inputs and outputs of our building (e.g. raw materials, different types of energy, emissions). This is essentially the data collection phase of the LCA.

Step 3: Impact Assessment
We defined what we want to analyse in the first two phases and then collected the data.
In phase 3, we assess the potential environmental effects of energy, water, and material usage and the environmental releases identified in the previous phase.

Step 4: Interpretation of our Life Cycle Assessment
By evaluating the results of the inventory analysis and impact assessment, we will have a brief overview of the environmental impact of each material, product and process used and installed inside the building during its entire life cycle. The result can help us to find the most efficient structural design that meets carbon goals.

Benefits of LCA in construction
Carrying out an LCA in the construction industry has many advantages:

  • Comparing design alternatives to choose the lowest impact ones
  • Calculating the lifetime impact of building materials and products to find the most sustainable options
  • Comply with lifetime carbon regulations

Automate LCA
To calculate an LCA, you need reports of the project materials and information about the environmental performance or impact of all the materials and products used in the project (EPD and generic materials).

Using a life cycle assessment tool like MasterSeries LCA, you can automate the complex LCA calculations and make LCA an easier and faster process at every stage of your building project.

With BIM links to MasterSeries, Tekla Structures and Revit, MasterSeries LCA automatically transforms your data to LCA results and measures the embodied carbon.

MasterSeries LCA is coming soon!

Join us in the Preview Webinar to get an exclusive view into the new MasterSeries LCA.
22/02/2023, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM GMT

Register Now

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