Whole-Building Life Cycle Analysis

LEEDv4 (BD+C)  introduced the credit, Building Life-cycle Impact Reduction, which gives project teams the opportunity to earn points towards certification for making early design decisions to reduce environmental impact. These decisions can be made through the utilization of Option 4: Whole building life cycle assessment (LCA).

LCA is a tool that allows building professionals to understand environmental impacts and energy use associated with all life stages of the building- from raw material extraction through building decommissioning. This credit option in LEEDv4 requires improving building life cycle impacts by 10% when compared to a baseline building. Demonstrating a 10%reduction in the impact categories has posed quite a challenge for the majority of project teams and has deterred them from attempting this credit. 

The latest iteration of LEED, (v4.1) is encouraging project teams to consider optimal building products by awarding a credit point for conducting an LCA of the project’s structure and enclosure, regardless of the LCA’s results. This small change will allow for broader adoption of LCA considerations in new construction projects. 

What Does This Mean?
Project teams can now choose to substitute the LEED v4.1 Option of completing a whole building LCA, with or without demonstrating impact category reductions, to receive a LEED credit point. Additionally, through demonstrating a 5%, 10%, or 20% reduction in the impact categories, project teams can earn 2, 3, or 4 LEED points, respectively. 

How We Can Help
The team at 3R has helped project teams achieve this credit through creating a LEED-compliant, whole-building LCA report. Call us today to see how we can help your project achieve LEED certification! Get in touch at [email protected] or 724-741-9900.