Life cycle assessment in the built environment. By Robert Crawford, Spon Press, London, 2011. 248pp, ISBN 978-0-415-55795-5, 80 (hb)
Life cycle assessment enables the identification of a broad range of potential environmental impacts occurring across the entire life of a product, from its design through to its eventual disposal or reuse. The need for life cycle assessment to inform environmental design within the built environment is critical, due to the complex range of materials and processes required to construct and manage our buildings and infrastructure systems. After outlining the framework for life cycle assessment, this book uses a range of case studies to demonstrate the innovative input-output-based hybrid approach for compiling a life cycle inventory. This approach enables a comprehensive analysis of a broad range of resource requirements and environmental outputs so that the potential environmental impacts of a building or infrastructure system can be ascertained. These case studies cover a range of elements that are part of the built environment, including a residential building, a commercial office building and a wind turbine, as well as individual building components such as a residential-scale photovoltaic system. Comprehensively introducing and demonstrating the uses and benefits of life cycle assessment for built environment projects, this book will show you how to assess the environmental performance of your clients’ projects, to compare design options across their entire life and to identify opportunities for improving environmental performance.