The Athena Sustainable Materials Institute has released an update of the Impact Estimator (IE) for Buildings, the popular and free software tool that simplifies life cycle assessment (LCA) for building designers and sustainability consultants. The new version includes the most current environmental impact data from the recently-published NRMCA Industry Wide Environmental Product Declaration (IW-EPD) and Industry Benchmark report.
IE for Buildings is often used to demonstrate compliance for impact reduction in LEED v4. The process involves conducting an LCA to measure the environmental impacts for a “reference building” and then conducting an LCA on the “proposed building” to compare impacts. If the impacts for the proposed building are lower than those of the reference building by specified percentages, the design is credited toward green building certification. The reference building is analyzed using industry average data provided in the NRMCA Industry Benchmark report and then compared to data from the NRMCA IW-EPD or a Product Specific EPD provided by a concrete company. Generally, concrete products designed to have lower environmental impacts, including global warming potential and smog formation, among several others, can readily meet the impact reduction targets specified in LEED v4 and other standards.
The Athena software can be downloaded for free here. The NRMCA EPD and Benchmark reports can be downloaded for free here. As part of the Build with Strength campaign, NRMCA promotes Strength Through Transparency for member and industry competitiveness in the green building marketplace and the trends toward product and company transparency.
For more information, contact James Bogdan at or 412-420-4138.