International Living Future Institute

Life Cycle Assessment & Environmental Product Declarations: What You Need to Know [On Demand]

Along with Declare, Health Product Declarations and other tools for addressing chemicals of concern, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are viewed by many in the green building community as critical market drivers toward greater transparency about and mitigation of the environmental impacts of buildings and building materials. And yet the limitations of LCA tools, which fail to address important impacts like human health, ecological damage, and biodiversity loss, are imperfectly understood, and in some cases are being exploited by industries whose impacts are concealed rather than revealed by LCA. This program will explore the promise and pitfalls of LCA and EPDs, compare how the Living Building Challenge, Living Product Challenge, LEED and GreenGlobes address them and examine related advocacy opportunities.

Learning Objectives

1.Outline the history of political debate that surrounds Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of building materials and emerging trends of environmental product declarations within the green building industry. 

2.Explain how various green building and product certifications are driving increased transparency about environmental impacts of building materials with a particular focus on LEED®, the Living Building Challenge and the Living Product Challenge

3.Identify techniques that practitioners can use to incorporate handprinting principles and LCA into Living Building Challenge and other sustainable building projects.

4.Discuss how participants can play a role in promoting market uptake of product transparency through specification and other advocacy tools.