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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and its role in improving decision making for sustainable development

Finnegan, S (2013) Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and its role in improving decision making for sustainable development. In: Engineering Education for Sustainable Development, 22 September 2014 - 25 September 2014, University of Cambridge.

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Abstract

There is growing interest in life cycle thinking and the whole life sustainability of buildings. The 2011 UK Low Carbon Construction Action Plan identifies the need for clarity on the definition of life cycle “zero carbon” impact as there are various methods of assessment. How do we educate on the various methods? LCA is an established tool that is currently in use to assess this total life cycle impact; however there is no one LCA method that has universal acceptance. For the sustainable development professional this causes a problem as they are unsure as to which particular method they should use.
This paper explores the common methods used to examine the life cycle of a building, focusing on the practical stages to consider for first year through to postgraduate students. What journey should we take the students on to help them understand the importance of LCA and its applicability to sustainable development? Ultimately, we need to educate to enable students to begin work or postgraduate studies with the knowledge and confidence to enable them to improve decision making. Through this paper, an exploration of how we can align a degree program to include LCA is investigated; considering the key stages to be taught at the relevant level.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Built Environment
Date Deposited: 14 May 2015 14:00
Last Modified: 14 May 2015 14:00
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1041

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