Understanding Building Life Cycle Assessments

Clients want to see eco-friendly solutions and sustainable building practices. With people worldwide working to protect the environment, you’ll find more ecological construction practices are beginning to fall into place.

Architects now use a building life cycle assessment (LCA) to assess a building’s overall environmental impact. When doing this, they consider the type of materials being used. These new practices come with a learning curve for construction companies and their workers worldwide. With this change comes the need to learn new building practices and the changing cost of material and labor.

What is a Building Life Cycle Assessment?

LCA is a way to prove on paper how ecological a building design will be. This assessment is used to judge every stage of the building process, including the day the building gets demolished.

The detailed LCA assessment will answer questions about how sustainable the structure will be, making it much easier to push to have a building built by these standards. When it comes to finding the best way to understand the impact a building will have throughout every phase of its life cycle, the LCA is one of the best tools for achieving this goal.

The Four Stages of a Building Cycle

To better understand the LCA, it’s essential to know the various stages of a building’s life cycle. These are some of the critical steps taken into account when conducting a building’s LCA:

  1. Material Manufacturing– This is the process of obtaining raw material from the earth and manufacturing the materials needed to construct the building. The LCA considers the manufacturing practices of material when looking at the building plans, ensuring that the materials used are manufactured sustainably and ecologically. Material manufacturing minimizes energy consumption and makes sure the materials you use have a low environmental impact.
  1. Construction– The construction phases are an essential part of the LCA, from transporting materials to the job site to estimating energy usage for heavy equipment, power tools, and on-site fabrication. The details of every stage of the building process are accounted for within the assessment to ensure that the building is being built as eco-friendly as possible.
  1. Use and Maintenance– Architects estimate the cost and ecological impact the building will make when the building is in service. How much energy, water, and waste the facility will produce is considered within the LCA. The assessment also considers the impact of repairs throughout the building’s lifetime.
  1. End of Life– The final part of the assessment is the end of life phase. This is the energy and waste the building produces when it is eventually demolished. The evaluation considers the time, energy, and transportation of every part of the building when completing this step.

What “Going Green” Means for Construction Businesses

As a business owner, working with clients who want to “go green” requires transparency about the materials you use and how they’re sourced. You’ll also have to be able to justify costs to your clients and explain to them why sustainable construction often costs more.

A cost estimation software can help you justify building costs to an environmentally concerned client. To efficiently develop accurate estimations, invest in a cloud-based cost estimation software that uses a comprehensive data set. The software calculates real-time prices, which is especially beneficial to companies who are not familiar with the costs of “green” materials. Click here to learn more about cost estimation data and software.

Using cost estimation software, you’ll have detailed and accurate estimations from data received from similar companies worldwide. This will ensure your business covers its bottom end while giving the client an estimate that’s not only competitive but assessed and delivered quickly.

Estimates for A Green World

With new practices taking over in the construction world, making detailed estimates can feel like an impossible task to accomplish. By looking into and utilizing an estimation software, businesses worldwide help change the ecological impact buildings have on the environment.

By quickly and easily composing a detailed estimation, your business won’t have to turn down a job because of the once unknown cost of materials your business hasn’t used in the past. If your business is looking to offer competitive and data-based estimates, consider looking at how cloud-based estimation software can benefit your business.

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