What is a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?
The materials we choose when constructing new developments can bring with them a surprisingly high carbon footprint. From each single brick to each strip of skirting board, every product needs to be produced, transported, installed, maintained, replaced, refurbished, and eventually disposed of.
A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) predicts the carbon footprint of the materials you have chosen from their creation through to final demolition.
Under BREEAM 2018, you are required to complete a Life Cycle Assessment (which was voluntary under earlier schemes). This is a great way of earning some high-value credits for your assessment, while also confirming the building materials you have chosen are environmentally sound.
The more sustainable your materials, the more credits you will receive.
Top Tips for Life Cycle Assessments
As with most elements of BREEAM it’s important to complete the LCA assessment early, which means prior to end of Concept Design. The Life Cycle Assessment should be completed early enough so the results can be used by your design team. If an LCA is completed later than Concept Design then credits can still be achieved however the total number of credits available is capped.
The Energist Approach
- Our in-house BREEAM team is qualified to produce Life Cycle Assessments. We can complete the calculation for you, check the performance against BREEAM and offer advice on potential changes to your material list that could earn you extra high-value credits.
- We will look at the bigger picture and consider your LCA as an integral part of your overall BREEAM assessment.
- Our technical team also includes BREEAM AP qualified assessors, specialists in SBEM compliance and overheating risk experts, plus we have partners in acoustics, ecology and thermography. This combination of skills means we can work together to provide you with a smooth BREEAM experience, and come up with solutions when they’re needed.