VanGeem and Lorenz Present at LCA XI Conference
Martha VanGeem, Principal Engineer, and Emily Lorenz, Engineer at CTLGroup, co-presented a session for the LCA XI conference on October 4 in Chicago.
The presentation, titled "Incorporating LCA into Codes and Standards," is described below:
Recently published codes and standards including ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 on High Performance Green Buildings and the CALGreen Code, as well as the public version 2 of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), include LCA as a means of compliance. Whole-building LCA is complex, and writing criteria for performing LCA and meeting a certain threshold for performance is even more complex. The presenter will discuss the inclusion of simple tools in codes and standards to replace complex LCAs. Standards and codes that include LCA compliance paths will be examined, and the pros and cons of the language in each will be evaluated.
ASHRAE Standard 189.1 allows a whole building LCA with a full range of impacts as a performance path in lieu of prescriptive path requirements for recycled content, regional materials, or biobased content. The performance path is met through performing an LCA on a base building and the proposed project building. The proposed project building is required to show at least a 5% improvement in two of eight impact categories. The LCA is allowed to include the energy use over the life of the building, specified as 75 years for most buildings.
CALGreen has similar LCA requirements as the performance path in ASHRAE Standard 189.1, except that it requires at least a 10% improvement for at least three impact categories, one of which must be climate change. However, CALGreen has an alternative that allows the use of a simplified tool to select a minimum of 50% of the materials or assemblies.
The IGCC public comment version 2.0 has an option for whole building LCA project elective (one of many that can be selected). Again, the criteria are similar to the performance path in ASHRAE Standard 189.1 except that it requires at least a 20% improvement for at least three impact categories, one of which must be global warming potential. The IGCC code development hearing occurred in May 2011 and altered this language, although the final outcome will not be determined until after the final action hearings in November 2011. This presentation will discuss the potential changes and likely outcomes.
For more information, visit the LCA XI website.