September 13, 2018
Athena Institute publishes two more Environmental Building Declarations in pioneering program
The University of British Columbia, with support from Forestry Innovation Investment, engaged the Athena Institute to prepare state of the art Environmental Building Declarations (EBDs) for two student residences: Brock Commons Tallwood House and Ponderosa Commons Cedar House.
Tallwood House is an 18-story building with a hybrid mass timber, concrete and steel structure, completed in 2017. Cedar House is also an 18-story building, completed in 2016 and with a reinforced concrete structural system.
The EBDs report whole-building life cycle assessment (LCA) results in accordance with the international standard EN 15978. The scope of the LCA is a cradle-to-grave analysis of the material effects of structure, envelope, interior partition assemblies and finishes, and operating energy and water use, over a 100-year period.
The Athena Institute is implementing its innovative EBD program in partnership with leading-edge building owners. The purpose of an EBD is typically for transparent, concise, public disclosure of performance data. Each EBD helps raise awareness about the value of LCA in bringing a data-driven perspective to sustainable design, and the need for performance accountability.
An EBD also serves an advocacy role for standardization in the practice and reporting of whole-building LCA. We use EBDs to demonstrate the value of standardized best practices.
However, adherence to such standards does not yet enable easy comparability between EBDs for different buildings. As with environmental product declarations (EPDs), a number of factors make it very difficult to compare results across EBDs. While this may change as standards and practices evolve, the primary benefit of an EBD is in measurement, disclosure, and future application of lessons learned.
View the Environmental Building Declarations:
Banner photos courtesy of:
- KPMB Architects, HCMA & University of British Columbia (left, Ponderosa Commons Cedar House)
- Naturally:wood (right, Brock Commons Tallwood House)