Free Athena Institute life cycle assessment (LCA) software for buildings
now includes the most current environmental impact data for cement
This release incorporates the most current environmental impact data
published in the Industry Wide Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and
Industry Benchmark report for concrete published by the National Ready
Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA).
The software, which has become the industry standard for conducting
building LCAs, is the only system that fully complies with the U.S. Green
Building Councils LEEDv4 technical requirements.
NRMCA, along with the Portland Cement Association (PCA), commissioned
Athena to include the most recent impact data.
Lionel Lemay, senior vice president at NRMCA adds, "Thanks to the tireless
efforts of NRMCA members in providing data for the NRMCA EPD project, we
are now able to offer design professionals the necessary tools they need to
design concrete buildings with the lower environmental impacts to go along
with all the other benefits of concrete construction including fire
resistance and energy savings."
"The information provided by this tool will assist design professionals in
quantifying the true environmental impacts of buildings," comments Mark
Justman, vice president of market development at PCA.
In addition to the EPD and benchmark report for concrete, the new release
of IE for Buildings includes a tutorial on how to define a custom product
and an updated cement profile based on research from the Concrete
Sustainability Hub at the Massachusetts Institute Technology.
Designers and owners often use IE for Buildings to demonstrate compliance
for impact reduction in LEED v4. The process involves conducting an LCA to
measure the environmental impacts for a "reference building" and then
conducting an LCA on the "proposed building" to compare impacts. If the
impacts for the proposed building are lower than those of the reference
building by specified percentages, the design is credited towards green
IE for Buildings results have already demonstrated compliance with LEED v4,
showing that impacts for a concrete building can be more than 10 percent
lower when using concrete products with higher volumes of fly ash and slag
cement. The reference building is analyzed using industry average data
provided in the NRMCA Industry Benchmark report and then compared to data
from the NRMCA Industry Wide EPD or a Product Specific EPD provided by a
concrete company. Generally, concrete products designed to have lower
environmental impacts, including global warming potential and smog
formation, among several others, can readily meet the impact reduction
targets specified in LEED v4 and other standards.
The Athena software can be downloaded at www.athenasmi.org.
The NRMCA EPD and Benchmark reports can be downloaded at www.nrmca.org/Sustainability/EPDProgram.