The construction industry has gained the Athena Assembly Evlauation tool for use (free!) with the Green Building Initiative'sâ„¢ (GBI) Green Globesâ„¢ environmental assessment and rating system for commercial buildings. The intent is to leverage life cycle assessment within the industry and provide a simple framework and tool that can be incorporated into the system. The tool currently works for high-rise buildings and low-rise buildings. The simple Excel-based tool you to change the assembly options to compare the environmental impacts in an unbiased way. The assembly categories include: intermediate floors, interior walls, windows, exterior walls, roofs, and columns and beams.
The tool "measures the climate changing potential and other environmental impacts of more than 400 common building assemblies in low- and high-rise categories. It was created by Morrison Hershfield Consulting Engineers in association with the University of Minnesota's Center for Sustainable Building Research and the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, and features LCA results generated by the ATHENAÂ® Environmental Impact Estimator software."
The points-based tool will help provide the building industry with an easy-to-use and accessible tool for comparing assembly options in high-rise and low-rise buildings. Hopefully they can expand the tool in the future to include single-family homes. Read the entire project description here. And see high-resolution images of the tool (like the one above) here. Via:: Lifecycle Building Challenge.