Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, Morrison Hershfield, 2012
Athena Sustainable Materials Institute and Morrison Hershfield conducted a life cycle assessment (LCA) conducted on a typical five-storey commercial building with five variations of exterior wall system and two variations of climate and location. The goal of the LCA was to gain a better understanding of precast concrete’s environmental performance in the context of whole buildings. This paper presents the cradle-to-grave LCA of precast concrete commercial buildings with precast structure and precast wall envelope, relative to alternative wall envelope systems.
Because the LCA includes a public comparative assertion, the study was critically reviewed by an independent external committee of LCA experts to ensure the LCA is consistent with the requirements of international ISO standards on LCA.
The results show that over the full life cycle, the buildings with precast concrete walls have less environmental impact than the buildings with masonry brick veneer walls and those with glass and aluminum curtain wall, all other factors being equal.