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Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) service

Environmental impacts of construction products and processes

We provide a variety of profiling and modelling services to help companies understand how their product, materials and systems will perform and how they might improve the environmental performance of their products.  These Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies support BREEAM and  Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) assessments.

This pre certification process is a flexible service that provides advice and guidance to manufacturers to understand how changing their process, products or materials may affect their environmental performance.

In June 2008, BRE published the Green Guide to Specifications following a wide consultation with UK industries. The Green Guide specifications are based on the BRE Global Environmental Profiles Scheme for Type  III Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for construction products. The methodology identifies significant environmental aspects associated with the Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) of construction products. Results from a certified Environmental Profile Scheme can be published and used by BREEAM or Code for Sustainable Homes assessors .

LCA services can be combined and tailored to the needs of each client.  Services include:

 


LCA modelling/ environmental profile modelling

Models of the environmental performances of a product following the BRE Global Environmental Profile Scheme

  • Identifies hot-spots, classifies environmental impacts and suggests improvements in a short time scale
  • Allows the client to make changes to their processes or inputs prior to certificated LCA (BRE Global Environmental profile)
  • Provides understanding of environmental performance of products under development or new products entering the UK construction market

Considerations: Results are for internal evaluation and decision making.


LCA scenarios/ scenarios modelling

Comparison of a product's environmental performances given a mixture of inputs (e.g. raw materials, different suppliers, or different source of energy).

  • Identifies best options for a product's development
  • Compares the environmental performance of various products from the same manufacturer
  • Helps prioritise the products to put forward for Environmental Profiles Certification
  • Investigates supply chain impacts

Considerations: Results are for internal evaluation and decision making.


Generic LCA for construction products and building systems

Provides a review of the environmental performances of a product or building system representative of UK industry. The results are published on the Green Guide to Specifications online.

  • Calculates common environmental profiles for manufacturers representing typical UK manufacturing practice
  • Adds to existing online Green Guides specifications
  • Beneficial to manufactures with unique processes or building systems

Considerations: The results are generic for a product or building system, therefore, specific manufacturer claims cannot be made


Quantitative analysis of environmental credentials

Qualifies the environmental credentials for materials outside the scope of Green Guides (e.g. display materials in a retail unit)

  • Provides high level guidance on the selection of materials based on their environmental performance aimed at lay audience.
  • Supports companies sustainability goals by providing qualitative guidance on the LCA of their display units.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - is a tool that can be used to assess the environmental impacts of a product, process or service from design to disposal i.e. across its entire lifecycle

Environmental Profile  - Result of an LCA study carried out following the BRE Global methodology

BREEAM - BRE Environmental Assessment Methodology: evaluation of the environmental performances of a building during its construction and use. There are various scheme depending on the type of building studied. BREEAM ratings are: pass to excellent

The Code for Sustainable Homes - Equivalent to BREEAM for new homes. This scheme is managed by CLG and is compulsory since April 2007. There are 6 levels of the Code: Code Level 6 is the government target for 2016.