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Resource

Environmental Impact Estimator for Buildings from Athena

Evaluates buildings & assemblies using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology

In North America, the ATHENA® Impact Estimator for buildings is a software tool that evaluates whole buildings and assemblies based on internationally recognized life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology.

Using the Estimator, architects, engineers and others can easily assess and compare the environmental implications of industrial, institutional, commercial and residential designs–both for new buildings and major renovations. Where relevant, the software also distinguishes between owner–occupied and rental facilities.

The Estimator puts the environment on equal footing with other more traditional design criteria at the conceptual stage of a project. It incorporates ATHENA’s own widely–acclaimed databases, which cover more than 90% of the structural and envelope systems typically used in residential and commercial buildings. It also simulates over 1,200 different assembly combinations and is capable of modeling 95% of the building stock in North America.

The Estimator takes into account the environmental impacts of:
•Material manufacturing, including resource extraction and recycled content
•Related transportation
•On-site construction
•Regional variation in energy use, transportation and other factors
•Building type and assumed lifespan
•Maintenance, repair and replacement effects
•Demolition and disposal
•Operating energy emissions and pre-combustion effects