June 14, 2022
Athena Institute helps develop ground-breaking guidelines
The Athena Institute is pleased to announce the publication of North America’s first comprehensive technical guidance for life cycle assessment of construction works. We helped write this document, under the leadership of the the National Research Council Canada (NRC) and with input from a large stakeholder group.
“National guidelines for whole-building life cycle assessment” (NRC 2022, 137 pp) fills a big gap in the practice of whole-building LCA. It interprets relevant standards, provides detailed instructions, addresses comparability and benchmarking, and more. It is NRC’s intention to pursue adoption of the document as a national standard.
This document will go a long way towards improving quality and consistency of practice. Green building programs and policy can now point to this as a reference for their LCA provisions. Our current overhaul of the Impact Estimator software includes alignment with these guidelines.
We conducted this work as part of our participation in a major Canadian initiative led by NRC called “Low carbon assets through life cycle assessment” or LCA2. This is a multi-year, multi-stakeholder effort aiming to bring LCA into government procurement decisions about built assets, by creating a national life cycle inventory database and associated other resources.