More and more, people want to know that the buildings they live and work in have as minimal an impact on the environment as possible. In order to measure the environmental impact of a building, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) concept was developed. Tucker Paving has been in the construction industry for coming on 30 years, and we have utilized LCAs during the design phase of construction projects. They are a powerful tool to use to reduce the environmental impacts of a construction project.

The Purpose of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is defined as a method to quantify the environmental impact of a building. This assessment takes into consideration the processes, materials, and energy used during construction, and through the building’s life cycle.

The LCA concept was originally developed by the EPA in the 1990s as a methodology to “evaluate the environmental effects associated with any given industrial activity from the initial gathering of raw materials from the earth until the point at which all residuals are returned to the earth.” LCA can by utilized by any industry, and generally the methods for LCAs are tailored to a specific industry by organizations within that industry.

Practices for LCA in Construction

In the construction industry, LCA is used to gauge the environmental impact that a construction project has, from conception to the structure’s end-of-life. A LCA takes into consideration:

  • All aspects of planning for construction and/or renovation.
  • The raw materials involved in the construction process.
  • Transportation impacts.
  • Energy usage during construction, operation, repairs/renovation, and tear-down.

LCA is not used solely for collecting data to know the environmental impact of a construction project; the data collected can also be used to decrease the environmental impact of the construction. A project might have a goal of reducing energy usage, reducing waste, protecting the wildlife and ecosystems surrounding a construction project, or limiting toxic emissions, among many others; then the LCA will be conducted and be examined for what changes can be made that will allow the project to meet those particular goals. 

For example, if a construction project includes goals of reducing transportation impacts, reducing waste, and preserving raw materials, the project managers may conduct an LCA and use it to see what the construction project can change to meet those goals; they might choose to recycle the asphalt or concrete currently on-site and reuse it in the project, rather than bring in new materials, to meet those environmental goals.

We have been serving Central Florida since 1994 in the asphalt and concrete paving industry, and we take every opportunity to lower our environmental impact! We have completed projects for residential, commercial, and municipal clients. Contact us by calling (863) 299-2262, oruse our contact form online. How can we help you with your next concrete or asphalt paving project?