UBC Undergraduate Research

Life cycle assessment : level 3 building elements of the Douglas Kenny Building Carnes, Kendrick


Life Cycle Assessment is the only tool in which decisions regarding environmental impacts can be made. LCA uses sufficient scientific data to provide impact results to air, land, and water while analysing products and product systems. This project breaks down a previous LCA on The University of British Columbia’s Douglas Kenny Building. The previous LCA looked at the cradle to gate which is similar to this study. The previous model was reviewed and all assumptions were evaluated. The previous model was then broken up into CIQS level 3 building elements. These building elements make up the complete building. The level 3 building elements is the format that professional surveyors who give cost estimates to clients use. By categorizing building materials into level 3 elements LCA can be brought in to the design stage of buildings. By having LCA in the design stage a client can make decisions based on LCA results and costs. The previous LCA study used a LCA tool called the Athena Impact Estimator which is a computer program designed for building LCA. The previous model was reorganized in AIE into level 3 elements and then basic materials and impact results were calculated. The use of a functional unit allowed for the normalization so that comparison between elements and eventually buildings can be compared. The impact results for the Douglas Kenny Building are fairly high since the majority of the building is made of cement. It was found that the main impacts from the cement manufacturing were due to the product manufacturing stage. When compared to a benchmark from 16 other LCA studies that were completed during the same time, the Douglas Kenny building exhibited higher performance. The benchmark for every impact category was higher than the impacts obtained from the Douglas Kenny Building. The method, data, model, goal and scope are subjected to various degrees of uncertainties. 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.”

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada