Life Cycle Assessment
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an analytical and systematic methodology to analyze, quantify and compare the environmental impacts associated with a product, procedure or service, within an identified context.
Through LCA techniques, the environmental footprint of a property can be calculated, accounting for the footprint of everything involved in its construction, operation and end of life.
At the end of the calculations, the output environmental footprint is provided according to different “impact categories,” which represent all the different impacts this generates in the various environmental compartments.
LCA analysis applied to building projects effectively reduces the environmental impacts derived from the construction sector by looking at the entire life cycle of interventions, from the origin of raw materials to management efficiencies, and allows for the development of related Life Cycle Cost (LCC).
Why conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA)?
Once the “boundaries of the system” (i.e., the field of analysis) have been defined, an LCA study makes it possible to measure the environmental impact generated by the various production processes included in it, identifying those with the greatest impact and thus understanding the environmental performance of each production cycle in an objective and technically argued form.
This tool allows the identification of possible project weaknesses and environmental improvement strategies by estimating and comparing precise indicators such as carbon footprint, acidification, eutrophication, photochemical smog, ozone hole and energy consumption.
It then follows to be able to make a subsequent investigation of the impacts that have been calculated, evaluating their reduction and compensation.
With reference to materials/raw materials constituting products, for example, reasoning in Life Cycle Thinking logic and making comparative LCA assessments allows us to Identify materials with a smaller environmental footprint: like this the LCA is therefore a tool that Allows for potential substitution of higher-footprint materials/raw materials with lower-footprint materials, in order to increase the environmental compatibility of products.
Fields of application: