Life Cycle Assessment

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an analytical methodology designed to quantify the environmental impacts of all stages of a product, material, or building’s ‘life-cycle’, including:

  • Material extraction
  • Production / manufacture
  • Use
  • Maintenance and repair
  • End-of-life (recycle / disposal)

It allows for designers and building owners to go far beyond optimizing the traditional measure of annual energy consumption (or energy cost), which has become the standard way of measuring a building’s environmental impact. After all, is the use of energy really our biggest concern?

In 2014, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to phase-out coal-burning electricity generation. That dramatically reduced the already-low carbon-content of the province’s electricity. Currently, our electricity is nearly 75% carbon-free. The remaining electricity is fueled by relatively clean natural gas. In fact, Ontario’s electricity is among the lowest-carbon in the world. In light of this new reality, is the continued sole focus on operational energy efficiency warranted? Perhaps it’s time to take a broader view, and to consider direct impacts including carbon emissions, and other environmental damage like acidification and eutrophication.

Calculating this broader range of impacts, over the broader life-cycle is exactly what LCA was designed for.

As powerful as LCA is, it has seen limited adoption in the market until very recently as it was simply too unwieldy and complex to be a practical design tool used on everyday projects. That has now changed with the advent of strong international standards, growing verified LCA databases, and easy-to-use design tools.

ZED Consulting works with the leading Finnish software company, Bionova, who has developed a web-based, user-friendly yet rigorous LCA tool called 360optimi. We are happy to provide LCA analytical support using this leading Nordic tool to Canadian design teams to help optimize the environmental performance of buildings. 

LCA now awarded by LEED

In the new version of the LEED green building certification system (LEED v4), Canadian teams can be awarded up to five points through LCA analysis and optimization! This new development means LCA can now be part of your high-impact, low-cost LEED credit strategy. Better still – 360optimi is designed to work seamlessly with LEED. 

What sets 360optimi apart?

  • Quick and easy to learn and use
  • Always up to date and accessible via web
  • Controlled, consistent & continuous
  • Scalable without the pain or cost

360optimi is compliant with a range of international life cycle assessment standards including ISO, CEN, various national requirements and more. It also supports industry standards and methodologies, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Global Reporting Initiative and LEED. 

It has been successfully used by building owners and the construction industry, municipalities, manufacturers and property managers. Additionally, it can be used for the corporate social responsibility reporting of any organization. 

And with the new ‘OneClickLCA’ add-on feature, building materials can be imported directly from your building’s BIM/CAD model, when exported using Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) format, saving hours on data input.

As an authorized sales agent, ZED Consulting can provide you with the best price on licenses as well as full turn-key analytical support and training. 

To learn more, see www.360optimi.com, and contact ZED Consulting.