Section Contents

Life cycle assessment

An essential part of green building, life cycle assessment (LCA) offers an objective and consistent way to measure the environmental impact of all types of constructions and the materials from which they are made. For more information, see APA’s guide to Role of LCA in Green Building and LCA terms .

To ensure quality and comparability of LCAs, the construction industry has adopted a common format  – called a Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).  This is designed to help create a low carbon, more resource efficient, sustainable built environment. EPD provides information on a product’s environmental impact.  It includes resources, energy use and efficiency, global warming potential, emissions to air, soil and water, and waste generation.

Within the recently introduced Construction Products Regulation (CPR),  an EPD is used to assess the impact of a product on sustainable construction. US EPD for plywood, OSB, I-Joists and LVL.  More information is under Construction Sustainability.

EN 15804 is the most significant of a suite of European standards for the assessment of the sustainability of construction works at both product level and building level.  Its core product category rules (PCR) provide a framework  for all construction products.

For third party certification information: Forest Stewardship Council  (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).