- a practical guide to lca for students designers and business managers
A practical guide to LCA for students designers and business managersVogtlander. Joost G.
A Fast Track guide to LCA - 2nd edition January 2013
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a well defined method to calculate the environmental burden of a product or service, has been made so complex that it seems to be a job for specialists only.
This 'Practical Guide' to LCA gives a hands on approach for students, designers, architects, and business managers with limited time. Starting with the common sense, and building on it with practical solutions for, sometimes, complex issues (like recycling).
To assess the sustainability of your innovative ideas, practical guidance is given during the decision making process. It does not take a lot of time and a lot of money. The 'Fast Track' LCA of this guide can be made in hours, and is just as accurate as the classical LCA.
This guide shows also the way to enable cradle-to-cradle calculations:
a. It provides practical solutions to calculate the impact of recycling
b. It shows how to start with LCA in the early ('fussy') design
stages ('Life Cycle Design')
Contents: 1. Introduction * 2. The system you want to study * 3. The step by step approach and LCA as an iterative process * 4. Transport and the use phase * 5. End of life and by-products * 6. Services in LCA * 7. Cradle-to-Cradle * 8. Carbon sequestration in wood * 9. Land-use, water and other issues * 10 Appendices * References * Abbreviations * List of figures and tables * Index
A practical guide to LCA for students designers and business managersVogtländer, J.G.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a well-defined method to calculate the environmental burden of a product or service. However, LCA has been made (needlessly?) so complex that it seems to be a job for specialists only. The specialists jargon ('functional unit', 'fate analysis', 'midpoints', 'endpoints', 'attributional modelling', etc.) makes it even more impossible for non-specialists to find out what they need to know to make an LCA. The recent LCA manual of the International Reference Life Cycle Data System of the EU is an excellent document for those people who like to become expert. The focus is on all the (theoretical) aspects of LCA: 80% of the text is on how to make an LCI (Life Cycle Inventory) and perform the Life Cycle Interpretation, including data quality checks and formalities on the reporting. However, the vast majority of students, designers, architects and business managers (and their consultants) never make LCI emission lists, nor write extensive reports on the interpretation. Most of them apply LCIs of databases of other parties (like the Ecoinvent database), apply existing single indicator systems (like eco-costs, carbon footprint, CED, BEES, Recipe, etc.), and draw simple conclusions on what seems to be the best solution in terms of environmental burden. Students tend to make LCAs by using computer software. They quickly learn how the input works, regard the calculation as a black box, and watch how the output varies with the input. Basically, they make the LCA by instinct and common sense. However, not all students are equal: some appear to have a much better instinct and common sense than others. Some issues in LCA are too complex to be tackled by common sense only. So these people need a little help and practical guidance. When I realized the abovementioned situation, I decided to write this Practical Guide to LCA, starting with the common sense, and build on it with practical solutions for, sometimes, complex issues (like recycling). The exampl
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