Athena’s EcoCalculator
   For Assemblies
           Jamie Meil
 Toronto Green Building Festival
          October, 2007
Resource Use Focus:
          It’s All About Trade-offs!
            Abundant resources
                                  ...
Weighing material options
  By attribute?
                             short-term
                             renewabilit...
By environmental performance  LCA
                      Air pollution

    Acid rain
     damage




                    ...
transportation
        water use                          energy use


 resource            Life Cycle                    ...
LCA in Relation to
   Buildings
Tracking Flows: The Inventory Step
            MATERIAL ACQUISITION
              Raw Material Acquisition
               ...
Impact Assessment Phase
Inventory                 • fossil fuel depletion
                          • global warming poten...
LCA-Based whole building tool for use at the
               conceptual design stage


 Shows environmental effects of cha...
Takes Account Of

     Resource extraction
     Manufacturing and on-site construction
       Including recycled conten...
Residential EE History
Home Type,          Heating Energy   Embodied    EE in years of
Location            Gj/yr          ...
Embodied vs. Operating Energy - Australia


                 7000

                 6000

                 5000
 Cumulativ...
Significance of Embodied Material Effects
   Building a single family house embodies
    10-20 yrs of operating energy us...
LCA in Assessment and
   Rating Systems
LCA integration options
Award points for:
1.   Selecting highly ranked building assemblies
     from a pre-rated list
2.  ...
LCA in Green Globes
   Basically LCA education credits at present (option 2)
    » encourage selecting materials with the...
LCA into LEED
   September 2004 kick-off meeting
   Working Groups
    » recommend how best to implement LCA-based credi...
New Tool for use in
    Rating Systems
Makes such information more
 accessible to design teams
LCA-based tool for evaluating and comparing the
          environmental effects of assemblies

   Currently includes abou...
Key Assumptions
   Results on a per unit area basis (e.g., per ft2)
     Estimates based on much larger areas, e.g., 100...
What’s in and out?
   LCA of building assemblies takes account of:
    » resource extraction and processing
    » product...
Simple to Use
results in spreadsheet form




                               Users only fill
                             ...
6 tons CO2e




Wood I-joist and OSB decking system,
gypsum board, latex paint
EcoCalculator Versions
Current            Coming in 2008/09
   Northern USA      Minneapolis region
    » High-Rise    ...
Thank you


www.athenaSMI.ca
gbf2007-JamieMeil-Building Material LCA
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gbf2007-JamieMeil-Building Material LCA

  1. 1. Athena’s EcoCalculator For Assemblies Jamie Meil Toronto Green Building Festival October, 2007
  2. 2. Resource Use Focus: It’s All About Trade-offs! Abundant resources High CO2 Resistant to pests Locally available CO2 neutral Water pollution Recycled content Low energy Harvesting issues
  3. 3. Weighing material options By attribute? short-term renewability regional durability recycled content or...
  4. 4. By environmental performance  LCA Air pollution Acid rain damage Climate change Resource depletion Water pollution
  5. 5. transportation water use energy use resource Life Cycle resource use extraction (depletion) Assessment effects emissions to air emissions to water solid wastes A methodology for assessing the environmental performance of a product over its full life cycle
  6. 6. LCA in Relation to Buildings
  7. 7. Tracking Flows: The Inventory Step MATERIAL ACQUISITION Raw Material Acquisition Manufacturing Material Emissions Products / Assemblies to: resources BUILDING CONSTRUCTION Air (manufacturing) Energy OCCUPANCY (use, reuse, maintenance) Water DEMOLITION/DISPOSAL Land Water Products / Materials Recycle / Reuse Waste Management
  8. 8. Impact Assessment Phase Inventory • fossil fuel depletion • global warming potential •(characterization ozone depletion Impact Indicators • ground& level ozone (smog) Normalization) • acid rain • toxic releasesair/water/land • etc. Impact Assessment (Valuation) THE GOAL: to measure ultimate impacts on human and ecosystem health
  9. 9. LCA-Based whole building tool for use at the conceptual design stage  Shows environmental effects of changes in shape, design or material make-up of a building  Allows designers to optimize operating+embodied energy effects over the complete building life cycle  A range of indicators without weighting
  10. 10. Takes Account Of  Resource extraction  Manufacturing and on-site construction  Including recycled content  All related transportation  Maintenance and replacement cycles  Demolition and land filling  Operating energy effects All but the last included in assembly calculations
  11. 11. Residential EE History Home Type, Heating Energy Embodied EE in years of Location Gj/yr Energy GJ Heating Energy Conventional, 107 1000 9.4 Vancouver Energy Efficient, 60 1075 17.9 Vancouver Conventional, 136 1000 7 Toronto Energy Efficient, 82 1075 13.1 Toronto Cole, R (1994)
  12. 12. Embodied vs. Operating Energy - Australia 7000 6000 5000 Cumulative GJ 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Years High Operating Normal Operating Low Operating Embodied
  13. 13. Significance of Embodied Material Effects  Building a single family house embodies 10-20 yrs of operating energy use  2006 Cdn housing starts - 225,000 units » Therefore, these starts are equivalent to 2-4 million operating energy yrs  Cdn Housing stock - 12 million units » So a year’s worth of building is equivalent to 15-30% of all residential operating energy use  Excludes residential renovation market material use » Similar in market size to new residential construction  Embodied effects of material use may be equivalent to 50% of all residential annual energy use
  14. 14. LCA in Assessment and Rating Systems
  15. 15. LCA integration options Award points for: 1. Selecting highly ranked building assemblies from a pre-rated list 2. Making decisions based on the use of an LCA tool (e.g., education or innovation credits) 3. Achieving specific performance levels at the whole building level (e.g., 2030 Challenge)
  16. 16. LCA in Green Globes  Basically LCA education credits at present (option 2) » encourage selecting materials with the lowest life cycle environmental burden » but no firm benchmarks or measures  Work completed on the assembly ranking approach (option 1) » reviewed by BRE, NIST, 3rd party » under review by Green Globes ANSI committee, » ATHENA Impact Estimator for buildings used for basic LCA of assemblies » points based on performance relative to benchmarks for each of several measures (e.g., global warming potential)
  17. 17. LCA into LEED  September 2004 kick-off meeting  Working Groups » recommend how best to implement LCA-based credits • goal and scope • technical LCA issues • weighting of impact measures  Goal and scope WG recommended assembly ranking approach  Accepted by USGBC board  Research program underway to detail the approach
  18. 18. New Tool for use in Rating Systems Makes such information more accessible to design teams
  19. 19. LCA-based tool for evaluating and comparing the environmental effects of assemblies  Currently includes about 400 assemblies  Uses 5 environmental impact indicators  In rating system, credit better than average performance  for each indicator within an assembly category  Generic version, without credit links, is freely available  various regional versions under development
  20. 20. Key Assumptions  Results on a per unit area basis (e.g., per ft2)  Estimates based on much larger areas, e.g., 1000 linear feet of wall  Components and loadings typical for central U.S.  Owner occupied office buildings, 60-year lifespan  Affects maintenance and repair/replacement schedules  Other specific assumptions:  Window to wall ratio  Concrete strength and fly ash content  Gypsum board type and thickness with latex paint  Live load for all intermediate floors, columns & beams, roofs  Bay sizes and column heights  External wall thicknesses depending on construction system  Stud size/strength and spacing  Sheathing and decking materials
  21. 21. What’s in and out?  LCA of building assemblies takes account of: » resource extraction and processing » product manufacturing » on-site construction of assemblies » all related transportation » maintenance and replacement cycles over an assumed building service life » demolition and end-of-life disposition of materials  Operating energy effects covered in rating systems
  22. 22. Simple to Use results in spreadsheet form Users only fill in yellow cells Instant answers
  23. 23. 6 tons CO2e Wood I-joist and OSB decking system, gypsum board, latex paint
  24. 24. EcoCalculator Versions Current Coming in 2008/09  Northern USA  Minneapolis region » High-Rise  Atlanta » Low-Rise  Pittsburgh  Southern USA  New York » High-Rise  Los Angeles » Low-Rise  Seattle  Vancouver  Other Canadian regions
  25. 25. Thank you www.athenaSMI.ca

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