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Civil 498C stage 3 final project Hudson, Sean; Desantis, Brady; Leknes, Eirik 2014-11-19

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 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student ReportBrady Desantis, Eirik Leknes, Sean HudsonCivil 498C Stage 3 Final ProjectCIVL 498CNovember 19, 201410941743University of British Columbia Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.     Civil 498C Stage 3 Final Project September - December, 2014 Sean Hudson Brady Desantis Eirik Leknes     Executive Summary This report summarises key findings of Civil 498CStudies in Life Cycle Assessment, aswe relate them to the various                    design processes at UBC. Civil 498C has help to lay the background of what LCA means for the future of green                     engineering and how it’s integration will help with new projects. This report will showcasehow the integrationof                  LCA can improve UBC’s existing environmental action plan. As the audience is UBCSustainability and Engineering department this reportwill look at howLCA relates toUBC’s                   building development directly looking at programs likeUBC’s Climate ActionPlan, Building Tune-UpProgram, The               UBC Vancouver Campus Plan and LCA in the Context of LEED. Building development account for a huge part of                   UBC’s harmful emission which is why it is important for the University to use all the tools at it’s disposal, such as                      LCA. This report aims to rationalize the use of LCA in UBC building design and operation through the existenceof                    campus sustainability programs. The report will then showcase how the Civl 498C’s class study of UBC buildings can be carried out to minimize                    environmental impacts. Furthermore, the LCA database produced in Civl 498C is analyzed and theoutcomes are                discussed. Through the database developed from past years in Civl 498C, a benchmark for buildings atUBC canbe                   established. This benchmark sets a value to which new buildings should be compared against. The results of the                  benchmarking show that the more concrete a building has, the more likely it will have a high impact. Of the                    materials, concrete, fiberglass insulation, and polyethylene show the largest impacts per unit of measurement              (such as cubic meters or square meters), and it is recommended to try to move away from these materials.                   Recommended alternatives include wood, and new technologies as they become available. The next steps toward institutionalizing LCA is then discussed. Inaccuracy of LEED is discussed,with emphasis on                 the lack of absolute values. An idea is proposed for a new database, with local values and more accurate EPDs,                    working on the fact that thepower source for BC ismostly hydropower, andhow thiswill impact different products                    in a large way. LCA use for whole buildings is paired with LCA of building engineering physics to get a more                     complete picture. Deriving knowledge from other universities such as Harvard is examined, decoding someof the                work that has been done over there. Lastly the use of LCA in other problems, such as waste management, is                    discussed. This part is left open ended,with the remark that there are countless possibilities towhere an LCA study                    might be done.       List of Figures Figure Title Page # Figure 1: Impact Category values for A31 Walls below grade, all studied UBC buildings 7 Figure 2: Comparison of buildings across campus against a benchmark 9 Figure 3: Building Impacts with tonnes of concrete used 9 Figure 4: Total Mass of Materials for all buildings, summed 10 Figure 6: Top 15 Materials’ Category Impacts per tonne 12 Figure 7: Top 15 Materials and their Impacts per Unit of measurement 12 Figure 8: Concrete foundations are poured in new building construction 13 Figure 9: Extensive use of wood in structural components of new Cheese building on campus 14  List of Tables Table Title Page # Table 1: Top 20 Materials and their weight, Sean Hudson, UBC 10-11    Introduction The purpose of this report is to evaluate the use, effectiveness, and future of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) at The                    University of British Columbia (UBC). This report will be presented to the UBC Sustainability and Engineering                department as well as to the Civl 498C Class. Life Cycle Assessment “is a scientific method used to quantify the                    impacts created by products over their lifecycle” , this reportwill expandon this definition andhow it is can relate                    1to everyday design at UBC. UBC Campus is viewedas a living laboratory inwhichnewsustainability initiatives can                   be testedbefore being applied onametropolitan or national level. This report investigates the usefulness of LCAas                   such a tool. One of the most important things about running an experiment is creating a data set. This coincides                    with one of the main objectives of LCA. LCA is all about creating and using databases to compare oneproduct to                     another and track the data over its lifetime. This report aims to rationalize the use of LCA in UBC buildingdesign                     and operation through the existence of campus sustainability programs. The report will then showcase how the                Civl 498C’s class study of UBC buildings can be carried out to minimize environmental impacts. Finally this report                  will look at the future of LCAatUBCandpotentialmodeling andeducation tools. Overall the goal of this report is to                       integrate LCA into UBC’s already diverse and environmentally driven building design operation.  Context for Use of LCA at UBC  “At UBC, sustainability is not just a word to define – it’s a word that defines us”. Tools like LCA and LEED create                       2simpler way to define what it actually means to be sustainable. UBC has always has always strived to take the                    initiative on sustainability. As such UBC has started many climate action programs and followed many of the                 government climate programs. When Canada dropped out of the 2007KyotoProtocol, UBC stillmanaged to reach                 its target by reducing GHG emissions from all academic building to six per cent below 1990 levels. By 2015 UBC                    hopes to reduce its GHG emission by 33% from its 2007 numbers. Buildings account for over 95% of UBC’s                   Greenhouse Gas emission. Given the aggressive targetsUBChas set, this is an excellent time to start thinking about                   LCA and how it could help reduce this number. UBC campus was constantly expandingbetween1997-2007; there                 was a 35% increase in floor space, and with ongoing construction, that number will keep growing. This constant                  expansion at UBC needs a standardized environmental LCA forUBCbuildingdesign andoperations. Until ,recently                tools to support green or sustainable designwere only used in a small percentageof buildings on campus, but this                    is increasing. LCA provides a simpler, more transparent, and crediblemethodology that canprovide thenecessary                framework to expand that support . 31 Sianchuk, Rob. "Week 2: LCA Basics and Development." CIVL 498C Life Cycle Assessment 12 (2014). 2 http://sustain.ubc.ca/campus-initiatives/green-buildings/reap 3 Ospelt, Christoph. "The Metrics of Sustainable Buildings." Building Technology Group, Department of Architecture. Technical Guidelines. UBC. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <http://www.technicalguidelines.ubc.ca/files/sustainable_bldgs.pdf>.  Building Tune-Up at UBC UBC has started a program called “Building Tune-up (Continuous Optimization)”, the goal being to tweak 72 core                 building on campus to be more environmentally sustainable. The program was piloted in 2010 with Buchanan                Tower and Neville Scarfe; through this program UBC saved enough energy to power 30 homes for a year. The                   program’s first phase ran from January 2012 to March 2013 and cost $1.36 million . 4It is stated that each building optimization will take a minimum of three years, which, when considering                 construction of a newbuilding is usually between1-2 years, is a huge amount of time. If an initial LCA is completed                      on eachbuildingbefore beingbuilt, the Tune-upprogramwould functionmuchmore efficiently, as linkingbuilding                 materials to their emissions would be easier. LCA is a powerful tool that pays dividends almost as soon as it is                     institutionalized. If UBC is able to create its owndatabase of buildings, improvements canbe readily identified and                  material options can be compared to historical data. In the future, contractorswill be able to give the information                   on the amount and type of material used, and LCAs will become instrumental tools to reducing future costs and                   improve the sustainability on UBC’s Vancouver Campus.   The UBC Vancouver Campus Plan/ LCA in the Context of LEED TheUBCVancouver CampusPlan (UVCP) is a guide to thedesignof buildings, landscape, and surface infrastructure                  projects within The Campus Plan areas. The UVCP clearly states that all buildings must be designed to achieve                  LEED® Gold certified standards or approved equivalent. With the recent release of LEED v4, which includes                provisions for earning points with LCAs, the use of LCA will help to strengthen UBC’s ability to create more                   sustainable and eco-friendly buildings on campus. “Constructing a building requires the production and transport of products and materials from sectors              throughout the economy. These supply chains are so extensive that the “environmental footprint” of a               building the day youmove inmayalready beas big as the impacts of heating and cooling and lighting and                     operating this building”  5This quote, taken from theU.SGreenBuildingCouncil paper on implementing LCAoptions in LEEDv4, explains the                   importance of why design guidelines like UVCP need to include LCA; it is important to understand the broader                  picture of environmental impacts of buildings. Through the use of LCA, the cradle to grave impacts of an entire                   building can be examined making the broader picture all but crystal clear.Another keyUBCguideline is called the                  Sustainability Best Practice Building Design (SBPBD). which focuses on maximizing environmental sustainability,            4 "2011 Carbon Neutral Action Report." University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus. Page 11.  Web. <http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cas/reports/cnar/UBC_2011.pdf>. 5"GETTING LCA INTO LEED: A BACKGROUNDER ON THE FIRST LCA PILOT CREDIT FOR LEED®." Web.                <http://www.analyticawebplayer.com/GreenBuildings18/client/LCA credit backgrounder Nov13c11.pdf>.  and construction and operation cost efficiencies. SBPBD would benefit immensely from LCA as it can track the                 environmental and human health impact of the construction supply line, andbetter understand the truepicture of                 the impact. Overall, LCA is instrumental to any design guideline or sustainable program, especially here at UBC. LCA creates                 opportunities to find improvements to the types of materials by showing their true impacts. It also allows for a                   more educated stream of information through the use of databases and comparisons, allowingusers to showcase                just how environmentally friendly their buildings are through concrete emission impact analysis.  LCA Study of Academic Buildings at UBC Vancouver Campus The Civil 498 LCA course is an impressive initiative to study the construction and ongoing impacts of buildings on                   the UBC Vancouver Campus. It is a course like no other inNorth America, building onprevious years’ analysis and                    results to shape the presentation of data to glean more and more from the raw numbers. The information                  summary presented here proposes modest changes to building practices, as drastic measures are oftenmetwith                contempt and disbelief. It is the intent here to begin turning the oil tanker that is current construction practices,                   towards the end goal of sustainable building planning and development, by gently nudging it in the right direction. The LCA of UBC’s buildings began seven years agowith a class of nomore than twenty eager students. Thedataset                     has been further refined over the years and is now at the final stage of the LCA framework: Interpretation. To give                     context and validity to the results, this paper provides an overview of the methodology of data discovery to                  interpretation. Following the methods used, the general results and building exclusion notes are introduced. This               also includes a summary of impactful materials used in academic building designs, and illustrative tables and                graphs. Finally, discussions on the implications of thedata are presentedwith an interpretationof the results, and                  rules of thumb that canbe followed from the trends of thedata. The LCA features data collected from23academic                     buildings on the UBC Vancouver Campus.  Methods LCA truly is an all-encompassing tool used to understand the definitive impact that a new building development                 might have on the surrounding environment. With the start of this project seven years ago, students began an                  intensive project thatwould take almost seven semestersworth of their time to complete. Aswith any LCA study, it                    begins by defining the Goal & Scope of the study, which was standardized across 23 building LCAs. The intended application of the LCA (the Goal) is to create a baseline for the environmental impacts of academic                   buildings on campus, and provide recommendations to the key decision makers to help them choose                environmentally sustainable products for future building projects. To explore LCA, this course featured three separate stages that built uponeachother, and served as introductions                  to the LCAprocess. Stage 1 involved the research and readingof current LCAbuildingpractices. Five articles froma                    comprehensive white paper about LCA were summarized and discussed as a group. This process introduced the                class to the current state of LCA in the construction industry, as well as the level of communication currently                   happening. To gain familiarity with the LEED certification process, Stage 2 explored the modification of building                materials and envelopes using the Athena Impact Estimator, against a set baseline to attain LEEDv4 certification                 for an assigned building. These assignments culminate with this paper, and the data obtained can now be                 examined with a prepared mind. Reliability of Data To gage reliability of the data obtained fromprevious years, the impact category totalswere compiled into graphs                  that dealt only with one assembly type. Anomalies were quickly discovered by simply looking at the spikes, and                  trying to correlate that with the reported material use. Pharmacy As a point of illustration, figure 1 shows the graph for assembly type A31: Walls Below Grade.  Figure 1: Impact Category values for A31 Walls below grade, all studied UBC buildings As is clear from the graph, onebuilding is showing clear dominanceof the environmental impacts, sowhat is going                    on here? The building in question is Pharmacy (PHRM) - a new, $155 million building with huge floor space anda                     beautiful design. Looking into the PHRM dataset, the Bill of Materials shows a peculiar entry for “Glazing Panel,”                  which has to do with window panes - whywouldwindowpanesbe in thebasement? The information gathered for                     this LCA study was done in 2013, and fortunately, a copy of the study is easily found located . Reading Annex D -                      6Impact Estimator Inputs and Assumptions of the report showsno input of GlazingPanels either as amaterial, or as                    a building envelope, so it is possible to conclude there is no Glazing panel for the A31 Assembly. This throws into                     question the rest of PHRM’s data as having faulty entry into the Athena Impact Estimator. Exploring the graphs                  further, it is similarly found with the A22 Assembly that PHRMhasover 10x the impact of any other building for it’s                      Upper Floor Construction. Reviewing the dataset once again, it is noted that A22’s bill ofmaterials again is highly                   suspect with over 44,000 Tonnes of concrete being used. This number seemsextremely high, soPHRM is removed                  from the dataset entirely for inconsistent performance. Music Building The Music building is a straightforward decision to remove from the dataset as it is missing important baseline                  information. The specific areas for each assembly type has not been recorded, so the Total Effects per m2 is not                    possible to calculate. Without a proper comparison benchmark, Music is removed from the dataset. Other building datasets were seen to have anomalies in values, but further investigation showed casual errors in                 dataset formulas and assumptions. After correction, the anomalieswere corrected and thebuildings stayed in the                set of twenty two. A summary of the environmental impacts and thematerials used in academic buildings follows                  in the Results section.  Results A summary of environmental impacts, aswell as a summary of commonmaterials used, for all buildings studied in                   this LCA are provided here. The graphs and figures shown below present the total impact for a given category,                   divided by the given reference flow area to allow for comparison across building sizes; a largebuildingwith large                   impact is not unfairly measured against a small building with a small impact. Each graph is introduced for context. The results demonstrated here are intended to be different from other students’ work. While there are readily                 apparent comparisons that can bemadeabout building construction year, these comparisons are quickly found in                previous years result presentations as well. An introduction to the state of buildings on campus compared to a                  benchmark of the same is shown, but beyond that the intention is for improvement uponprevious interpretations.                 To provide an in depth look at the environmental impacts, a different variety of tables will be presented. Benchmark Comparison of Buildings Averaging the impact categories from all buildings gives a benchmark value for each. This provides a brief                 introduction to the data. Comparing thebuilding against this benchmark gives a rough idea about how it performs                  6 http://sustain.ubc.ca/sites/sustain.ubc.ca/files/seedslibrary/CIVL498C_2013_LCA%20Report_Pharmacy.pdf  against the UBC ‘norm.’ Figure 2 below shows the results of that comparison.  Figure 2: Comparison of buildings across campus against a benchmark, Sean Hudson, UBC Total Building Impacts Figure 3below shows the total building impacts for eachof the twenty buildings studied. Thebar graphunderlayed                   shows the tonnes of concrete used in each building; initially it was thought that a strong correlationbetween the                   amount of concrete used in abuilding and the impact thebuilding has. Thiswas not anunreasonable assumption,                   as concrete is very intensive to create, however as the graph demonstrates, no correlation is seen. This type of                   analysis is provided more in the Discussion section that follows.  Figure 3: Building Impacts with tonnes of concrete used, Sean Hudson, UBC Total Mass of Top 15 Materials Used on UBC Vancouver Campus  The following Figure 4 shows the top 15 materials used by total mass. The breadth of this summation spans all                    buildings studied on campus; the total amount of 30MPa Concrete used amongst all 22 buildings is in the                  neighborhood of 120,000 tonnes.  Figure 4: Total Mass of Materials for all buildings, summed, Sean Hudson, UBC Materials and Their Mass This is a brief overview of the top 20 materials used in the construction of buildings at UBC. This is to provide the                       reader with some insight to what the exact mass values are, and what else might be involved in the construction                    projects. Table 1 illustrates those materials. Material Description Mass (Tonnes) Ballast (aggregate stone) 549,506.35 Concrete 30 MPa (flyash av) 121,096.78 FG Batt R11-15 79,403.11 Split-faced Concrete Block 76,162.82 Concrete 20 MPa (flyash av) 53,650.75 Blown Cellulose 43,342.96 1/2" Regular Gypsum Board 26,524.82 Softwood Plywood 24,436.03 3 mil Polyethylene 23,463.18 PVC Membrane 48 mil 18,708.50  Precast Concrete 17,119.72 Modified Bitumen membrane 15,051.29 Mortar 14,829.66 5/8" Regular Gypsum Board 10,744.89 8" Concrete Block 9,518.87 Rebar, Rod, Light Sections 8,101.90 Concrete 30 MPa (flyash 25%) 7,589.75 FG Batt R50 7,525.11 Concrete Brick 6,006.79 Table 1: Top 20 Materials and their weight, Sean Hudson, UBC Impact Categories for Top 15 Materials by Mass Next it was desirable to find the total impact of these materials, according to their totalmass. This is the absolute                     impact that the top 15materials presented to the environment fromacademic building construction atUBC. Figure                 5 below compiles the spreadsheet data generatedby theAthena Impact Estimator, and shows the impacts side by                  side.  Figure 5: Impact categories of the top 15 materials by mass, Sean Hudson, UBC Top 15 Materials and their Impact Category per 1.000 Tonne It can be reasonably assumed that these top 15 materials are important to construction projects, and will likely                   continue to be in the future. While the total material used is important and showshowUBC’s constructionhabits                   have impacted the environment, it is necessary to give a comparable baseline for eachmaterial.With thebaseline                  it is possible to identify heavily used andhighly impactfulmaterials, andphase themout for future projects. For the                    sake of completeness two versions are shown for baseline comparison; onebyweight, oneby size. Figure 6below                   shows the impact of materials per tonne, where Figure 7, just below, shows the impact per unit of measurement.  Figure 6: Top 15 Materials’ Category Impacts per tonne, Sean Hudson, UBC   Figure 7: Top 15 Materials and their Impacts per Unit of measurement, Sean Hudson, UBC These last two graphs can really show the power of Athena’s Impact Estimator. The next step is to examine these                    graphs and their implications with the intention of providing some Rules of Thumb.  Discussions The results shown above demonstrate many important learning points for building construction at UBC. The               interpretation provided demonstrates that it is not always “how much” you reduce, but “of what” that is                 important. This can lead to some Rules of Thumb to consider when making design decisions in newconstruction                  projects at UBC. Concrete: Hard to replace, but use wood if possible It is well known in the construction and environmental industries, that concrete is a highly impactful material                 requiring large quantities of energy to produce. While it might be the recommendation of this paper to reduce                  concrete usage asmuchaspossible, it is simply not feasible to reduce abuilding’s desire for strong foundations. As                    is evident by Figure 8, which features construction currently taking place on UBC grounds, concrete will not be                  easily replaced.  Figure 8: Concrete foundations are poured in new building construction, Sean Hudson, UBC, 19/11/2014 Concrete replacements are many years away, and until those replacements becomemainstream it is important to                 focus on what can be done. That being said, a good rule of thumb is to avoid overuse of concrete in roof and                       internal structures. Wood is an excellent substitute, as is evident by Forestry Building’s excellent environmental               performance against the benchmark For current projects involving wood as structural components and roofing              components, one need not look further than thenewengineeringCheezebuilding currently under constructionon                the UBC Vancouver Campus. Figure 9 shows the current state of construction and readily shows the immenseuse                  of wood for structural purposes.  Figure 9: Extensive use of wood in structural components of new Cheese building on campus, Sean Hudson, UBC The Cheeze building is certified LEEDGold, as requiredbyUBC standards. If this is thedirectionof newbuildings at                     UBC, the future of LCA will remain bright. Fiberglass Insulation: Reduce where possible, alternatives may develop The results showed a pretty shocking impact from fiberglass insulation; many tonnes are needed, creating the                single largest environmental impact in the Top 15 materials investigated. When looking at the low impacts                produced by one square meter of fiberglass R11-15 insulation, it is clear that the impact is the result of the shear                     volume of insulation needed. It is a difficult tradeoff between possible building energy consumptions and               fiberglass embodied energy, but discuss these tradeoffs with the professionals with the intention of reducing the                need of fiberglass. Additionally, it is good to note that fiberglass production is one of the leading consumers of                   recycled glass containers. When recycled material can be repurposed like this, it benefits us all. 3 mil Polyethylene: Reduce consumption  Polyethylene shows up in the Top 15 materials as a highly impactful material, simply because of the volume                  required. If this material can be reduced, perhaps by replacing with a new material or by reducing waste at the                    construction site, then another significant impactor can be minimized. Recommendations for LCA Study This study brings together an incredible array of data, and should be put to use wherever possible. Just as this                    class has benefitted from its existence, so can other classes. If LCA is to continue being studied at UBC, other                    classes can look upon this study as the benchmark in on-campus LCA requirements.  Thedatabase allowed this class to performhypothetical LEED certificationof buildings around campus, by utilising                the Athena Impact Estimator, and creating a benchmark building much like has beendone in this paper. After the                   benchmark was created, and an assigned building was measured, LEED v4 points were earned by modifying the                 building construction materials to create a better performing building. This exercise helped focus the intentionof                the course, and see how the choices made during the design process can drastically effect the impact of the                   project. As is stated in the LCA Credit Reference guide, LCA’smay reduce thematerial used, help professionals understand                  cumulative energy use, and a wide range of other such effects. The inclusion of LCA in the LEED v4 certification                    signals that the future of green building design will feature Life Cycle Assessments from cradle to grave. It is                   recommended that UBC becomes familiar with the methods and practices of an LCA. This ensures thatwhen LCA                  becomes a stronger mainstream idea, UBC can once again be proudly at the forefront of sustainability.  Next Steps for Institutionalizing LCA at UBC The course Civil 498C has through its 6 years taken UBC a long step towards wider LCA usage at UBC. Moving                     forward, UBC should try to institutionalize LCA into more and more of its buildingprocesses, and get it integrated                   into the mindset of faculty and staff.  This section looks at different steps and ideas to make this happen. Whole building This course has focused a lot on LEEDv4, and the certification points from this. One of the drawbacks of LEED is                     that it deals with relative values, not absolutes. This leaves a lot to the individual buildingdesign,with abuilding                    being able to perform well in LEED even if it is not particularly sustainable if compared to, say, a zero emissions                     building. This has its various reasons. Mostly, it’s difficult to state matter-of-factly that 1m2 ​of floor in an                   educational building ought to have a set value for maximum environmental impacts. This is due to the fact that                   even narrowed down to educational buildings, the difference in usagedemands are so great that a threshold value                  is hard to set. If, however, effort was put into establishing thresholds, a lot could be done. This might be a big                       undertaking, but with UBC already being on the front line of educational building LCA, it might be a great                   opportunity. An idea on this could be to section rooms and buildings into different categories, and setting the                  thresholds for each category. Categories would include lecture halls, reading rooms, library, different types of               laboratories and commonareas. Establishing andkeeping to thresholds could lead to anew ranking system,where                 the ranking actually says something about the absolute impact level of the buildings. Another point is that LEEDv4 and the methodology used throughout this course only looks at the building as a                   structure, and does not take into account the impacts by energy consumption through thebuildings lifetime. This                 could lead to an instance where materials that are chosen might show good performance in the Athena Impact                  estimator, but give bad insulationperformance. This is oftenmitigatedbyhaving a thoroughdesignprocesswhere                 building physics is given its own consideration. However, life cycle energy consumption constitutes a largepart of                 the impact of a building, and should be given its own role in an LCA. Building engineering physics, dealing with                    light, sound and HVAC, is a complicated field, needing apretty completemodel of a building toprovide gooddata.                    As this could end up being awfully complicated, general guidelines could be given in an LCA backed threshold. A                   specification on insulation, heating and lighting systems would add a great deal of sustainability to thebuildings.                 As a whole, this very much lends itself to Building Information Modelling, which is coming up as a big trend in                     building and structural design. Basically, it takes building engineering physics and combines it with structural               drawings and designs in one giant model file. Databases and models As far as now, the Athena Impact Estimator has beenusedas adatabase tool for LCA. This databaseprovides class                     EPDs for wide classes of materials. This will not represent every scenario in themost preciseway. For instance, BC                    takes most of its power from hydro. This leads to adifferent environmental profile of electrical power. If a building                    erected in BC uses locally manufactured materials, the EPDs for thesewould arguably look very different from the                  generic ones found in the Athena database. Using a software where individual EPDs can be implemented will                 therefore improve accuracy in the LCA studies Inspiration from Harvard Harvard University is on the frontier in whole building LCA. They currently have 93 LEED certified projects, more                  than any other university. Pulling from their advances and knowledge will be most beneficial. There is a lot to be                    learned only from reading about what they have done and trying to implement similar ideas. The greatest benefit                  though, would be from having an actual exchange; having one scholar from Harvard on a visit and engage in                   discussions on LCA. On their website, Harvard has freely available material on all the projects they have done, complete case studies                  with information all the way down to EPD level. Looking at Tata hall as an example, this building is certified                    77 http://www.energyandfacilities.harvard.edu/green-building-resource/leed-case-studies/tata-hall-hbs  Platinum in LEEDv3 for new construction. It is a 14280m2, 7 floormultiuse building atHarvardBusiness School. 55                   % of woodwork used is FSC certified, and a lot of the material is post-consumer and locally manufactured. The                   inside of the building is filled with innovations such as daylight and motion sensors for turning on and off the                    lighting and HVAC system. Another major concern was stormwater system. This was met with a green roof,                 naturally filtering filling material and a 48 % reduction in water use by the means of low-flow appliances and                   fixtures. This is solid LCA work from start to finish, where everything has been taken into account. Making a similar database forUBCwill help show the effort andput the LCAmindset on everyones agenda.Harvard                    has a green building standard that all capital projects at the university must apply by .Oneof the central ideas of                     8this document is the integrated design. This is the idea that LCA is something to be done holistically, spanning                   different disciplines and aspects of the building. There is also a part on energy modelling, using mathematical                 models to look at the energy consumption of the building. This also adds to the wholesome approach, not only                   looking at the building as an inanimate object, but as an organism that will consume energy and produce waste.  Other products as a target for LCA The focus of the efforts so far has beenonbuildings, as this ismaybe the componentwhere the largest impact can                      be made. There are however many more areas where the environmental impacts from UBC could be reduced by                  the use of an LCA approach. This is where the genius of LCA comes into play. If you canmeasure it, you candoan                         LCA study. There is already a good recycling system at UBC, with 4 types of refuse bins next to eachother atmajor locations.                      In waste management, the mantra has always been reduce, reuse, recycle. Many have forgotten the first two,                 which is highly unfortunate, since this is where the largest impact reduction can be made. Students are a large,                   often unruly group of individuals. Enforcing a reduce-type policy on students will prove quite difficult. The next                 natural step is to go to is the source. UBC has already thought in these lines, with enforcing the payforprint                    program, aiming to reduce the impact and cost of printing. Similarly, steps couldbe taken to all foodandbeverage                    venues at campus, encouraging or enforcing packaging restrictions or specifications. As seen in thehistory of LCA,                 one of the earliest exampleswasbeverage containers, so this is clearly feasible. Thenext step fromhere is knowing                    what happens to our waste. How much of it will end up as compost? How much will be recycled? Andhowmuch                      will end up on the landfill in Delta? These are question fairly easily answered. The real problems comes with                   comparing the alternatives. Is it really so bad if everything in the black bin goes to the landfill? This iswhere LCA                      can help us. Comparing different waste systems lends itself to LCA very quickly. There is often a vast jungle of                    contractors and subcontractors in the waste industry, but if you can wade through it, often you will find a lot of                     8 http://energyandfacilities.harvard.edu/sites/energyandfacilities.harvard.edu/files/Harvard%20Green%20Building%20Standards_February%202013.pdf  surprises. For the longest time, paper sent to recycling in BC got shipped to China. There, it was repulped,mixed                    with Chinese recycled paper and shipped back to BC to be new newspapers. This will simply not give a goodLCA                     score, and should be looked into. The ability to apply LCA to anything that ismeasurable iswhatmakes this tool so                      powerful.  Conclusion It is clear that the case for LCA at UBC is strong. By leading the sustainability charge here at home, andproviding                      new frontiers for students fromall over, UBChas set itself up to live in infamy for its groundbreakingwork. It should                      be clear now that UBC is the ideal incubator for such a great sustainability tool. The recommendations provided                  here are a small step towards improving the ecological footprint of all students at UBC, andare hoped toprompt                    eyes to the horizon for emerging materials and technologies. With world-class schools such as Harvard leading                with excellent examples, UBC must adopt LCA as a standard in building construction to remain at the forefront of                   sustainability. The infrastructure for UBC to adopt aprogramsuchas LCA into its buildingdesignpractices already exists. It exists                    in the many forms of sustainability initiatives set out by theuniversity over the recent years. These initiativeswere                   set by ambitious peoplewhowant to show theworldwhat a forward thinking, sustainable campusUBCactually is,                   and LCA is the chance to do just that. By following the maxims set by school leaders, this Civil class has taken the                       important first step towards institutionalizing LCA at the UBC Vancouver Campus. The dataset built over the previous six years shows important trends in the material choices made for buildings.                  While concrete is an essential tools for construction, its impacts arewidely knownand its use shouldbe limited to                    foundational and structural forms. In its place, wood serves as an excellent partition for interior walls, and                 showcases the natural beauty of UBC’s surroundings. It was noted that insulation is a highly impactful material,                 simply because of the volume required to complete a building. While fiberglass is a large consumer of recycled                  glass, it is important to keep abreast of developments, such as Mineral Wool and other emerging sustainable                 materials. Looking forward to the future of LCA at UBC, the future is bright. Impact Estimator tools are getting better every                    day, and the uptake of LCA is similarly increasing. As LCA gains notoriety, UBC will be well served to continue its                     path of encouraging and fostering LCA as a standardpractice. This fostering of LCAwill landUBCamong the ranks                    of Harvard in termsof sustainability. It is evenpossible forUBC tooneday contribute to LCAdatabases if programs                     such as this continue. It is evident that the increasing emphasis on LEED certification will no doubt cause UBC to review their building                   standards once again. When this occasion does occur, it is imperative that UBC include LCA as a standard in                    building design and maintenance plans.       Annex A Brady DeSantis-26511105 Through my undergraduate education I have been exposed to various courses on sustainability. Last year I took                 CHBE 484 (Green Engineering Principles and Applications for Process Industries) that course focused more on               comparing consumer products. CHBE 484 gave me goodbackgroundknowledgeof LCAandwhat to look forwhen                  tired to evaluate emissions. Iwould say that Civl 498C focusedmoreon the tools anddata involvedwith LCAwhere                     CHBE 484 focused more on the definitions and content surround LCA. The reason I chose this course is because I feel that LCA is an instrumental tool in green engineering. I hope to one                       day go into the Oil & Gas sector and I think that it is important to have a strong understanding of howemissions                       can be reduced in order to better the future. As well I was interesting the use of excel and I think not enough                       courses use excel and it is important to get someexperienceusing heavy set of data. For the final project I enjoyed                      researching the various sustainable programs here at UBC and better understanding the campus environmental              goals. I think that a lot of the hype around “going green” ismainly formarketingpurpose, so it is always refresh to                       look at concrete fact and data showing that thing are actually changing both on campus and all aroundCanada.                   Overall the class and the project I believe will be extremely helpful in my future as we learned a lot of relevant                      information of LCA and tools involved with LCA such as excel and ATHENA. I have found that at UBC there is not                      that much emphasis on databases and using computer skills to helpwith theworkwedo. I think this class/project                    is interesting because it allows to to use some of the major equations and calculation we have learn in our                    undergraduate degree and use the computer apply them to larger databases.      Eirik Leknes - 55452149 I have had little real experience with LCA from before, we had it as one of many subjects in a course. I had                       knowledge of the concepts, but not much in the details. This course has shown me the innerworkings of awhole                     building LCA, as well as looking at the broader perspective. Putting LCA into a global context has been important,                   trying to draw experience and practices from other parts of the world. What I really liked in this course is that we dug so deep into the material. Often LCA is a thought process and a                        “soft” subject, with little “hard” facts. Hereweused real data anda real impact estimator, learning theprocess and                    everything that goes with it. This supplied by the more overviewing knowledge from the lectures gives me wide                  understanding of LCA as a tool and whole building LCA especially. One of the wonders of LCA that I realized through the course was the idea that if you can count it, you candoan                         LCA study on it. LCA is often used in big decisions, whole buildings, bridges and structures. One could also apply                    LCA to smaller things, all the way down to everyday things such as paper airplanes. The key is that you can do                      accounting for something other than monetary value. Paralell to this course, i have taken CIVL 564 Engineering                 Management of Solid Wastes, and I see that LCA really lends itself to solidwastemanagement. This is also oneof                     the first fields where I heard about LCA, comparing an incinerator to a composting plant for food waste. Earlier                   years, i have takena few transport and road courses, and I really see theuse of LCAalso in this field.Most fields are                         governed by money, and there is a lot of engineering economics in both transport and structures. Using LCAas a                    guiding tool to sustainability in these fields       Sean Hudson - 28556116 For myself, the practice of LCA is an old paradigm of thinking with anewname. The cradle to gravementality has                      been introduced to me a number of times throughout my life, but it has never been given a formal name. It seems                      like second nature to include the total impacts of allmaterials by now, but sadly this isn’t always theway. LCAwas                      used by other names to demonstrate the potential downsides of certain technologies to thosewhoare otherwise                 oblivious. My favorite example of this is from a number of years ago. The Chicago Transit Authority decided that propane busses were great for marketing a green image, so they                 purchased a number of busses that run on propane. The busses were widely heralded as efficient machines that                  produced very little green house gas emissions, and the people of Chicago recjoiced.My interest peakedwhenan                  article surfaced summarizing the highly polluting process of creating propane. Thesebusseswere lipstick onapig!                 The act of producing propane far offset any benefit gained by burning it as fuel. This is just one example in a                      laundry list of LCA discoveries that are not formally named as such. Other examples include the pollution heavy                  process for generating solar panels, or high performing batteries. These sacrifices are necessary to improve the                underlying technology, but it is important for adopters of “clean” technology to be sure they are in fact clean. The formal introduction of LCA has been a great way to formalize the thoughts and feelings I had around these                    revelations; a process to actually evaluate and question popularly held beliefs. With the introduction of LCA from                 this course, and after watching a few eye-opening movies (180 South is a fantastic documentary about the                 industrial exploitation of Chile and Patagonia. Additionally Interstellar was provoking for its portrayal of a world                consumed by dust storms and mass hunger, though it might be Hollywood-ized), I have given serious thought to                  the impact of my everyday choices and purchases. I hope to one day see the EPD available for a new MacBook, or pair of glasses. I feel EPDs will go a long way to                          helping people justify an increased cost for particular goods or services, by demonstrating why somethingmight                be more or less expensive. I had adaydream theother daywhere currencywas replacedwith thenotionof carbon                     credits for certain services.What if insteadof paying for Car2Gowithmoney, it is deducted fromacertain allotment                    of carbon points I get each month? This is a pretty extreme idea, and not likely to sitwellwithmanypeople, but I                        feel the introduction of LCA from this course has given mepause for this kindof considerations. If thewordof LCA                      spreads to more people, perhaps therewill be a greater appreciation for choosing oneproduct over another.When                  this day comes, people might truly understand the implications of long term effects.   


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