Building Life Cycle refers to the view of a building over the course of its entire life. Taking into consideration the design, installation, commissioning, operation and decommissioning phases.
Life Cycle assessment or analysis is the valuation of a product to determine what the true environmental cost is from the growth and harvesting of raw materials to manufacture to distribution to eventual disposal or deconstruction by the end user. It also considers embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions. It looks at, emissions, waste and other environmental effects at every step, from the initial extraction of raw resources through manufacturing, product use and eventual disposal or recycling. It is based on science, not assumptions. Life cycle assessment is the internationally recognized method for assessing environmental impact of a product or process and is backed by International Standards Organization (ISO)
Impacts to analyze at each phase;
* Fossil fuel depletion
* Energy consumption
* Water use
* Green house gas emissions
* Stratospheric ozone depletion
* Ground level ozone (smog) creation
* Toxic releases to land and water
Variants on life cycle assessment:
Cradle-to-grave – assessment from manufacture ‘Cradle’ to use phase and eventual disposal ‘grave’
Cradle-to-cradle – a specific kind of cradle-to-grave assessment where the disposal step for the product is a recycling process. The recycling process creates new or identical products
This diagram illustrates the general concept of life cycle assessment, where all of the environmental inputs and outputs are measured at each stage of a product’s life,
Look for the second and third parts to this article in the coming months and contact us at anytime for additional details.