Whole-Building Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

MBCI is actively involved in the development of LCA data for our core products since LCA first started appearing in green building standards. We have cooperated with the Metal Construction Association (MCA) in efforts to develop industry average data for cold-formed metal cladding systems and insulated metal panels (IMPs). The LCA is ISO 14044 compliant and was third-party reviewed. The report can be downloaded from MCA.

LCA is a structured, holistic way of quantifying the environmental impacts generated by the manufacture and delivery of a product by looking at the resources consumed and wastes generated between two specific points on the supply chain. A Cradle-to-Gate LCA is scoped such that all impacts occurring prior to delivery to the jobsite are considered.

As part of this assessment, the consumed resources and generated wastes are tallied, mass-balanced for accuracy, and normalized relative to a specific quantity of product called a functional unit, generating what is called a Cradle-to-Gate Life Cycle Inventory, or LCI. This LCI data can be registered in international databases for consumption by computer programs that calculate equivalent environmental impacts for the construction, life and disposal of an entire building over an assumed life, called a Cradle-to-Grave Whole Building LCA.

LEED v4 has a whole-building LCA credit, as do other green building evaluation programs. Generally, they require the LCA to be run twice: once for the proposed building and once on a hypothetical baseline case, called a reference building. Generally, credit is given based on the environmental impact reduction achieved by the proposed building from the reference building.

Metal Construction Association (MCA)

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