LCA, or Life Cycle Assessment, is an in-depth analysis tool that conducts environmental impact assessments on whole buildings, manufactured building products, and material assemblies. This valuable analysis calculates the direct and indirect inputs (such as energy and water) and outputs (such as carbon dioxide) that result from a material or assembly’s manufacturing process, transportation, installation, use, maintenance, and disposal. By covering the whole life cycle of a material from the time the resources are extracted through end of use and disposal, LCA can give a more complete picture of the total environmental impacts associated with the built environment.
While environmentally responsible design and sustainable growth have become increasingly prevalent in new building construction, LCA is being used by architects, engineers, and contractors who want to take this awareness one step further. The deeper analysis that LCA offers allows these building professionals to discover materials that both minimize a project’s environmental impact and are even more efficient, durable, and valuable to building design and construction. Additionally, because LCA can now be used to earn the LEEDv4 Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment Credit, it is increasingly being adopted or required by clients, architects, and engineers who are striving for LEED certified buildings.
LCA results answer a multitude of questions that can inform material selection and major design decisions, especially when used early and often during the design process. Because Tally is Revit-integrated, it is uniquely positioned to generate data and provide feedback at every design phase. Tally users have taken advantage of this early integration capability by using the tool to answer questions like: