Life Cycle Assessment
LCA underpins many of the carbon footprint and environmental profiles which are becoming increasingly important. We can help you understand how it all works and what is the best approach to get the most out of this emerging field of work.
An Environmental Product Declaration is a short document that describes how a product impacts the environment, that can be used as proof of a products’ environmental credentials. This is what is known as a Type III Environmental Declaration as defined in ISO 14025.
Environmental product declarations are starting to be adopted as the standard way of describing the environmental impacts associated with a product. This is especially true with the publication of EN15804, which sets out rules on preparing EPDs on construction products, and with the RICS Ska rating that requests EPDs for products as one of the criteria for good practice measures for offices.
We are experts in providing and verifying EPDs, in fact Dr Andrew Norton of Renuables was the first approved individual EPD verifier in the UK under the International EPD System. We can provide you with off the peg or bespoke services to provide you with a user friendly EPD, extra data to help you improve on your own processes as well as any training you might need to get the most out of the process.
Building Information Modeling takes information on materials and their physical and functional characteristics and embeds it into architectural 3D modeling software to provide visualisation and test buildings at a conceptual stage. Embedding environmental data into these models allows the user to also see the potential environmental impacts and benefits of using a variety of materials or construction techniques.
There is potential for BIM to totally revolutionise construction, from the design stage, and procurement all the way through the building process, its use phase and final deconstruction. We work closely with BIM companies to understand what is needed to allow your LCA or EPD data to link up to these emerging systems.
Carbon Footprint Studies and Declarations
We have provided carbon footprinting studies of new and existing processes, from biomass energy to established products. We have worked with SMEs to show how their products can be improved, we have worked with one of the largest forestry companies in Europe, UPM, to assess the potential effects of stump harvesting, we have even advised the World Bank as to how the variety of carbon footprint schemes might affect trade in developing countries.
At Renuables we keep our work transparent to our clients and one use of LCAs we very much advocate is showing where your environmental impacts stem from. By presenting a breakdown of impacts associated with the materials, processing and transport involved we can show you areas to work on to bring your impact down. This combined with our expertise in renewable energy and materials has often shown clients what may be possible in terms of substitution and scale up.
Full and Comparative LCAs
Full Life Cycle Assessments are still required to investigate scenarios, which can be thought of as the more philosophical or “what if?” side of our work. By assessing how a material or process can be replaced or a potential scale up operations might work, full LCAs can show how a company or even a country may benefit environmentally from a new plan. Have a look at our download section to get more of an idea as to what can be studied and how.
Our LCAs follow the ISO 14040 suite of standards, which guide the practitioner through the planning, calculation and presentation of results. It is upon these that more prescriptive standards regarding carbon footprinting (such as PAS2050) and EPD programmes are based.