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LCA Life Cycle Analysis Assessment (Jargon Buster) G#688 N#710

By 14 July 2014August 23rd, 2017Code, Encyclopaedia, Entries, Jargon Buster, Themes

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LCA Life Cycle Analysis Assessment Jargon Buster

LCA Life Cycle Analysis Assessment Jargon Buster

Assesses the impacts of a product or operation on the environment throughout its life e.g. from production and manufacture, operational and maintenance, through to final disposal/demolition
(The London Plan ’05)

LCA is a process of evaluating the effects that a product has on the environment over the entire period of its life thereby increasing resource-use efficiency and decreasing liabilities
It can be used to study the environmental impact of either a product or the function the product is designed to perform
LCA is commonly referred to as a “cradle-to-grave” analysis
LCA’s key elements are:
(1) identify and quantify the environmental loads involved; e.g. the energy and raw materials consumed, the emissions and wastes generated;
(2) evaluate the potential environmental impacts of these loads;
(3) assess the options available for reducing these environmental impacts.
(© DANTES ’06)

A technique that allows the comparison of the environmental impacts of materials and products.
LCA analyses the movement of materials and energy from the point of extraction of raw materials, through the manufacture, use in a building, demolition and final disposal.
The analysis provides quantitative data to identify the potential environmental impacts of the material or product on the environment.
Ideally LCAs encompass the entire life cycle of a material, but it is common for assessments to be made of more limited periods eg ‘cradle-to-gate’.
(GreenSpec AEP ’09)

LCA is the basis of EPD Environmental Product Declarations and environmental preference methods for materials
selection, for example BRE’s Green Book Live’s Environmental Profiles (Products), BRE’s Green Guide to Specification compares (Manufacturing Sectors: ‘Generic’)
LCA takes account of environmental impacts over the lifetime of a product, for example the impact arising from mineral extraction, manufacturing, transport and end-of-life disposal.
(Anderson, Shiers and Steele, The Green Guide to Specification: An Environmental Profiling System for Building Materials and Components (4th edition), Blackwell Science, 2009.)
See: ISO 14025:2006
(Ska ’09 & NGS BRM ’10)

What is an LCA?
A lifecycle assessment (LCA) is an assessment of the environmental impact of a product, process, or service from material growth (or production) to waste management i.e. over the entire lifecycle.
The effects upon the environment can be either advantageous or disadvantageous, and include effects upon human health as well.
These effects are known as the ‘ecological footprint’ of a product or service.
An LCA is all about collecting and assessing quantitative data on the input and output of material, energy, and waste, which are attached to the entire lifecycle of a product, so as to determine the environmental effects.
(CAPEM Agrodome ’11)

Compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle.
(EESC ’11)

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
3rd February 2013 – 28th February 2016

LCA Life Cycle Analysis Assessment Jargon Buster


ReCiPe overview diagram (Methodology on their website) created by amoungst others PRé Sustainability creators of SimaPro LCA Software, shown to CAPEM project team


2014 CAPEM logo EU investing png

CAPEM Method

CAPEM Method 1 2014/07/09 png

CAPEM Method 1 2014/07/14 (£0.00)

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
3rd February 2013 – 28th February 2015

LCA Life Cycle Analysis Assessment Jargon Buster
See Also:

GBE Jargon Buster


Initials, Abbreviations & Acronyms

  • BIM
  • BRE
  • EC
  • ECHA
  • EOL
  • EP
  • EPD
  • EWC
  • GBL
  • GGtS
  • MA
  • LCA (This page)
  • LCI
  • PASS
  • SIN
  • SVHC

Words & Phrases 

  • Allocation
  • BIM-ready CAD files
  • BRE’s Environmental Profiles (EP)
  • BRE’s Green Book Live (GBL)
  • BRE’s Green Guide to Specification (GGtS)
  • CAPEM Compass Building Product Comparison System
  • CAPEM Method 1 2014/07/14 (£0 €0 $0) G#1567
  • Chemicals
  • Chemicals Secretariate (ChemSec)
  • ChemSec
  • Cradle (excavation from earth, extraction from plantations, etc.)
  • Cradle to ….
  • Cradle to Cradle
  • Cradle to factory gate
  • Cradle to Grave
  • Ecological footprint
  • Economic Allocation
  • Embodied Carbon (EC)
  • End of life (EOL)
  • Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
  • Environmental Impacts
  • European Chemicals Agency
  • European Waste Catalogue (EWC)
  • Factory Gate to Grave
  • Final material
  • Global Warming Potential (GWP)
  • Green Guide to Specification (GGtS)
  • GBE Product Page
  • Inputs
  • impact
  • Individual Impacts
  • Intermediate material
  • ISO 14025:2006
  • Life Cycle
  • Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
  • Life Cycle Inventory
  • Marginal Analysis (MA)
  • Monetisation
  • Outputs
  • Packaging
  • Plastics
  • Product Assessment Sustainability Screening (PASS)
  • Products
  • REACH Regulations (REACH)
  • Reference Flows
  • Sequestered Carbon
  • Substitute It Now List (SIN) List
  • Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)
  • Toxlist



CAPEM Project Outputs:

  • CAPEM Jargon Buster Excel file Worksheet 1. CAPEM Glossary
  • CAPEM LCA Definitions Excel file Worksheet 2. LCA definitions
  • CAPEM Set of Definitions Word Doc
  • CAPEM Compass Building Product COMPArison SyStem
  • CAPEM Method 1 2014/07/14 (£0.00)

GBE Video

GBE Projects

GBE Collaboration

  • GBE PASS Product Accessory System Screening
  • GBE SERVE PASS for Services
  • GBE CIV PASS for Civil Engineering and Infrastructure
  • CAPEM EPD and LCA scoring the environmental impact of materials and products
  • CAPEM INDIVIDUAL IMPACTS typically Embodied Carbon, Embodied Energy, GPW, GHG, CC
  • CAPEM DeTox using LCA data
  • CAPEM Marginal Analysis to help manufacturers improve their products

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
20th January 2013 – 23rd August 2017



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