Life Cycle Assessment at UBC

In recent years, life cycle assessment (LCA) and a distinct but related methodology, life cycle costing (LCC), have emerged as key decision-making and enabling tools in the design and construction of sustainable projects at UBC.

Their ability to measure both the environmental impacts and financial performance of materials and services throughout their whole life cycle provides a framework to compare materials, products and designs using qualifiable benchmarks and following internationally recognized standards and protocols.

As part of a series of pilot project demonstrations, UBC has applied LCA and LCC methodologies on a number of recent campus projects. LCA and LCC have proven to be important tools supporting the design decision-making process and meeting the high-performance goals of sustainable projects, and they are being institutionalized for new campus projects. Over time, UBC will systemically embed LCA and LCC in the planning and design processes of all new capital projects, as well as the assessment and development of renovation or demolition strategies for existing buildings.

Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS), University of British Columbia
Photo credit: Don Erhardt
Life Cycle Assessment Case Study

The results of these assessments supply scientifically validated information that enables designers, clients and contractors to objectively evaluate options and to make design decisions based on the priorities of a project.