Jennifer O’Connor discusses the importance of life cycle assessment in construction
Take a listen as the Construction Record’s Warren Frey speaks with Jennifer O’Connor, president of the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute about life-cycle assessment (LCA) in the construction sector. The interview also covers the new Embodied Carbon PathFinder web tool which helps practitioners gain an understanding of the concept of LCA and what it means in the building environment. The last 25-years have marked a significant evolution in people’s understanding of the concept of LCA and the environmental impact on the value chain of a building—from extracting raw resources through to the end-of-life of a building, including what happens to those materials after the demolition of a structure.
Recently, the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, in collaboration with Morrison Hershfield, OPEN Technologies and with partial funding from the City of Vancouver, developed the Embodied Carbon PathFinder web app. This free tool allows design practitioners to experiment with design variables and view pre-calculated life cycle assessment (LCA) results for three typical multi-family residential building types in BC.
The interview covers a lot of ground including:
- Quantification of what makes a building sustainable
- The rise in understanding of the concept of life cycle assessment (LCA)
- Software tools to evaluate a building’s life cycle, including the new Embodied Carbon PathFinder web tool