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.

Who is using LCA?

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.

What can I discover through LCA?

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:

  • Does the environmental impact of cross-country lumber transportation outweigh the environmental benefits of building a wood structure in this location?
  • What are the major contributors to Global Warming Potential in my building?
  • How many kilograms of carbon emissions can I save by increasing the Substitute Cementitious Material (SCM) in my concrete mix?
  • Which is less environmentally impactful: PIR foam insulation for XPS foam insulation?

How do I conduct an LCA with Tally?

Tally makes LCA easy. Once you have a Revit model, you can download your free 10-day trial license and start your assessment right away. For more information on getting started with Tally, check out our webinars and tutorials.