“The built environment is responsible for more than 35% of the planet’s carbon footprint, so it is crucial we start designing low carbon, sustainable buildings today.”
Life cycle assessment is a comprehensive method that assesses every single impact associated with all stages of a product or process over its entire life span.
This approach is sometimes referred to as “cradle to cradle” if it accounts for full recycling or “cradle to grave” if it ends in disposal.
For the built environment, life cycle assessment allows us to measure the the environmental impact of the design from types of materials, how they are transported and assembled to their performance, how long they last and whether they can be recycled after use.
By consciously selecting this way, we begin to understand how much carbon is used in the design of our buildings and can improve our impact and reduce emissions.
Life cycle assessment is also a great way to determine the cost of a building over its design life and manage a long term investment based on how well the building, technology and systems will perform, when they will need to be replaced and the overall payback period.