How Green is Green?

lumpysteerSoftware and s/w Development

Dec 2, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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The Greening of the Rooftop



Module 3


How Green is Green?


Measuring Sustainability with
Life Cycle Assessment

(LCA)

How Green is Green?

Measuring Sustainability

When measuring the relative sustainability of a
product or a system, the key questions are:

Sustainability =

Impact

Time

1.
How long (time) can the product or system last?

2.
What is the cost (impact) to last that long?


Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

What is LCA?

… a scientific approach to
evaluating the environmental
impact of a product throughout
its life cycle.


Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

What is LCA?


Scientific Approach
: Based on measurable and
predictable attributes


Focused on Impact
: What is the net result to the
environment?


Throughout the Life Cycle
: A “cradle
-
to
-
grave”… or “cradle
-
to
-
cradle” approach


Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Why is LCA Important?


LCA is a globally recognized procedure based
on established ISO standards


LCA will be incorporated into the LEED
®

Green
Building Rating System in 2009 / 2010


LCA is a necessary measure to support
emerging global warming initiatives such as
carbon cap
-
and
-
trade


1.
Establish the Time Period

2.
Describe the Life Cycle System

3.
Identify & Measure the Impacts

4.
Assess the Impacts

Life Cycle Assessment

Key LCA Steps

Life Cycle Assessment

Step 1: Establish the Time Period

10 Years

15 Years

20 Years

30 Years

39 ½ Years

60 Years

Typical

Commercial Roof
Warranty Length




U.S. Taxable Building
Depreciation Period


USGBC Life Cycle

Task Force
Recommendation

Life Cycle Assessment

Step 2: Describe the Life Cycle System


Inputs


Processes


Outputs


System Boundary

Describing the Life Cycle System

The Product Life Cycle

Raw Materials Acquisition

Manufacturing

Operation / Maintenance

Recycling / Waste Mgmt.

Inputs:

Raw
Materials

Energy

Outputs:

Atmospheric
Emissions

Waterborne
Waste

Solid Waste

Co
-
Products

Other Releases

System
Boundary

Processes:

Source:
Life Cycle Assessment: Principles and Practice
. Scientific Applications International Corporation, 2006.

Transportation & Handling

Installation / Assembly

Life Cycle Assessment

Step 3: Measure the Impacts


Identify Significant Impacts


Establish Meaningful Measures

Measuring Environmental Impacts

The TRACI Model

Impact:

Global Warming Potential

Ozone Depletion Potential



Photochemical Oxidant Potential


Acidification Potential


Eutrification


Health Toxicity (Cancer)


Health Toxicity (Non
-
Cancer)


Health Toxicity (Air Pollutants)


Eco
-
Toxicity Potential


Source: EPA Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other Environmental Impacts (TRACI)

Linked To:

Global Climate Change

Degradation of Ozone Layer



Ground
-
Level Ozone


Acid Rain


Algae Blooms


Cancer Frequency


Neurological & Reproductive Disorders


Breathing
-
Related Illnesses


Reproductive & Genetic Disorders


Measuring Environmental Impacts

The TRACI Model

Significant Impact:

Global Warming Potential (GWP)

Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP)



Photochemical Oxidant Potential (PCOP)


Acidification Potential


Eutrification


Health Toxicity (Cancer)


Health Toxicity (Non
-
Cancer)


Health Toxicity (Air Pollutants)


Eco
-
Toxicity Potential


Meaningful Measure:

kg CO
2

Equivalent

kg CFC Equivalent

kg NOX Equivalent

H+ Moles Equivalent

kg Nitrogen Equivalent

kg Benzene Equivalent

kg Toluene Equivalent

kg: DALYs Equivalent

kg 2,4
-
D Equivalent

Source: EPA Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other Environmental Impacts (TRACI)

Life Cycle Assessment

Step 4: Assess the Impacts


Weigh the Impacts


Which impacts are most important in the assessment?


Compare Alternatives


Which alternative provides the optimal benefit?


Look for Improvement Opportunities


How can the impacts be reduced?



Life Cycle Assessment

LCA Benefits


Avoids Shifting of Impacts


Allows Consideration of Trade
-
Offs


Promotes Situation
-
Based Decisions

Building Construction Examples:

Which Product has the Lower Impact?


Limestone Concrete versus Fly Ash Concrete


(USA)



Plastic Insulation versus Mineral Wool & Cork


(Europe)

Life Cycle Assessment

LCA Benefits

Life Cycle Assessment

LCA Limitations


LCA is Expensive


Requires time & money


LCA is Complex


Difficult to understand & communicate


LCA is Not Absolute


Useful for reference or comparison


Cannot by itself determine cost
-
effectiveness or
practicality

Building Construction Example:

Which has the Lower Impact?


1.
Insulated Roof Assembly
with

Cover Board?


2.
Insulated Roof Assembly
without

Cover Board?


Life Cycle Assessment

LCA Limitations

Life Cycle Assessment

Current Status of LCA

Part of ISO 14000


“Standard for Environmental Management”


Similar to ISO 9000 “Standard for Quality
Management”


Describes how LCA should be used to evaluate
products and how the results should be
communicated to the consumer

Life Cycle Assessment

Communicating LCA Data

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)


ISO 14000 method for communicating to the
consumer


Growing rapidly in Europe


Driven by global corporations seeking common
denominator to simplify product lines

Product:

Polystyrene Board

Manufacturer:

LAPE
(Italy)

Environmental Product Declaration

Sample EPD

Environmental Product Declaration


EPD Detail

System Boundary


(In this case, excludes installation,
use and final disposal)

Life Cycle Diagram:

Impact Summary:

Impact

Category

Impact

Measure

Impact

Data

Environmental Product Declaration


Sample EPD

Product:

Steel Roofing System

Manufacturer:

Corus
(UK)

Environmental Product Declaration


EPD Detail

System Boundary



(In this case, covers “cradle
-
to
-
grave”)

Life Cycle Diagram:

Impact Summary:

Impact

Category

Impact

Data

Impact

Measure

Environmental Product Declaration

EPDs Moving to United States

Product:

Office Chair

Manufacturer:

Steelcase
(USA)

Life Cycle Assessment

LCA Tools

EPD

EPD

EPD

EPD

EPD

EPD

EPD

EPD

LCI Database

LCA Tool

Project Requirements

Local Conditions

Life Cycle Assumptions

Impact Weighting

Project Life Cycle Assessment

(Environmental Product Declarations)

(Life Cycle Inventory)

Life Cycle Assessment

LCA Tools


Typically web
-
based or downloadable


Usually sponsored by government or non
-
profit
organizations


Tend to follow a recognized LCA protocol


Draw from life cycle inventory (LCI) databases
for impact information


Combine products and processes to evaluate
whole buildings or sub
-
systems

Life Cycle Assessment


Current LCA Tools


Tool:

Sponsor:


Athena Institute

(Canada)




NIST (USA)


Univ. of Stuttgart

(Europe)

Cost:


Free Download



$1,100 +/
-


Free Download


Free Download

LCA Tools

Athena EcoCalculator

Summarizes

Key Impacts

Select from 86 Roof Assemblies

Enter

Square Footage

Allows For

Regional Variations

Athena EcoCalculator

Limitations


Not all product data has been peer
-
reviewed
and validated


Some databases may contain significant feedstock and
product formulation errors


Database errors may influence overall assessment validity


Most of the product data is generic, based on a
composite of different proprietary products


Database may not reflect real differences between different
proprietary products and processes



LCA Tools


Athena EcoCalculator

Free Download Available:

http://www.athenasmi.org/tools/ecoCalculator/index.html


LCA Tools

BEES


“Building for Environmental & Economic Sustainability”


Maintained by National Institute of Science &
Technology (NIST)


Free download available


Peer
-
reviewed and validated


Limited, but growing product database


Key Impacts

Validated Weighted

Averages

Considers Economic as
well as Environmental
Factors

Provides Overall
Weighted Score

BEES 4.0 Benefits


Comprehensive Model

BEES 4.0 Benefits

Validated & Weighted Scoring System

Alternative A

Alternative B

Key Impacts

Peer
-
Reviewed &

Validated Weighted Average

Simple Graphic Report

BEES 4.0 Limitations

Limited Product Database

… but peer
-
reviewed, validated, and growing

LCA Tools

BEES

Free Download Available:

http://www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/software/bees/bees.html



LCA Tools

In the Future…


US Life Cycle Inventory Database


Joint Athena Foundation / US Government
Initiative


Funded in part by EPA, GSA, and DOE


Managed by National Renewable Energy
Laboratory (NREL)


Establishing peer
-
review & validation guidelines


Slowly, but surely expanding the database



US Life Cycle Inventory Database

NREL and its partners created the U.S. Life
-
Cycle Inventory (LCI) Database to help life
-
cycle assessment (LCA) experts answer th
eir questions about
environmental impact. This
database

provides a cradle
-
to
-
grave accounting of the energy and material flows into and out of the environment that are
associated with producing a material, component, or assembly. It's an online storeroom of data collected on commonly used mat
eri
als, products, and
processes.

LCA Tools

US Life Cycle Inventory Database

http://www.nrel.gov/lci

Life Cycle Assessment

The Future of LCA


ISO 14000 will become the global LCA model


ISO 14000 has been endorsed as the basic model for managing
environmental impacts


Almost all major global companies are seeking ISO 14000 registration
for their facilities


and this will carry over to their products


Use of LCA tools will become standard for all major
construction projects


Integration of LCA tools into LEED will accelerate the process


EPD will be the “New MSDS”


Specifiers may soon require EPDs or similar data for all products

LCA & The Roofing Industry

Short Term Impact


Confusion Will Reign


ISO 140OO is a standard
method



not a standard


Variety of proprietary rating systems may only add to the confusion


Early Adapters May Influence the Rules


Defining system boundaries


Determining product inputs


Determining weighting of impacts


LCA may favor thinner, stronger products


Lightweight membranes and coatings


Lightweight foam insulations


LCA may favor systems that can be installed
quickly


and removed / recycled quickly


New attachment technologies


Industry recycling programs

LCA & The Roofing Industry

Long Term Impact


Do system boundaries include
all significant impacts
?


Are impacts
weighted

in regard to relative importance?


Is the
service life

period realistic?


Is the assessment realistic in terms of
planned durability
?


Are
alternatives

compared equitably?

Life Cycle Assessment

Critical Issues

Life Cycle Assessment

LCA Summary: Key Terms


Life Cycle Period (or Study Period)


Impacts / TRACI


Inputs, Processes, Outputs


System Boundaries


ISO 14000 Environmental Management System


Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)


LCA Tools


Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) Database