GREEN BUILDING INITIATIVE™ CONGRATULATES ATHENA INSTITUTE ON U.S. EPA AWARD FOR LCA TOOL
—Groundbreaking Environmental Impact Calculator Acknowledged at West Coast Green—
Portland, Ore. (September 20, 2007) — The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given a Lifecycle Building Challenge award to the Athena Institute for developing a tool that makes it easy for architects, engineers and others to incorporate life cycle assessment results into the design of green buildings.
Developed by Athena in consultation with the University of Minnesota and Morrison Hershfield Consulting Engineers, the tool was commissioned by the Green Building Initiative (GBI) for incorporation into the Green Globes™ environmental assessment and rating system. However, recognizing its value as an indicator of global warming potential and other environmental impacts, GBI also supported the development of a generic version, the ATHENA® EcoCalculator for Assemblies, which is available free of charge from the Athena Web site (www.athenasmi.org).
During a ceremony at West Coast Green in San Francisco, the tool, which provides information on the global warming potential and other environmental impacts of nearly 400 common building assemblies, was recognized as the winner of the Lifecycle Building Challenge's Professional Built Tool/Service category. The award was presented by EPA Assistant Administrator Susan Bodine, American Institute of Architects president RK Stewart and Building Materials Reuse Association President Brad Guy.
"We're thrilled with this recognition and think it serves as yet another example of the increasing emphasis that is being placed on life cycle assessment by the green building community," said Ward Hubbell, president of the GBI. "We hope that more designers will hear about the tool and use it, either through GBI or the Athena Institute, to choose assemblies based on a more complete understanding of their environmental impacts."
The tool features LCA results generated by the ATHENA® Impact Estimator for Buildings, and can be used for new construction projects, retrofits and major renovations, and for industrial, institutional, office or residential designs—either to compare specific assemblies or to assess all of the assemblies in a structure.
Assemblies are evaluated in terms of a range of performance measures, including global warming potential, primary energy (fossil fuel depletion), air and water pollution, and weighted resource use. Results show real time changes as the inputs are adjusted, which allows different assembly options to be considered in light of their environmental impacts.
The tool is currently being reviewed by the GBI ANSI technical committee prior to its integration into Green Globes.
For more information about Life Cycle Assessment or the new LCA tool, please visit www.thegbi.org.
ABOUT THE GREEN BUILDING INITIATIVE: The mission of the Green Building Initiative is to accelerate the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings by promoting credible and practical green building approaches. A not-for-profit education initiative, the GBI is supported by a broad cross section of organizations and individuals with an interest in residential and commercial construction. For more information on the Green Building Initiative, please visit www.thegbi.org.
ABOUT THE ATHENA SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS INSTITUTE: The Athena Institute is dedicated to sustainability of the built environment, a goal that can only be achieved by meeting the building community's need for better information and tools. From its Canadian offices, and through its U.S. affiliate, Athena Institute International, the not-for-profit Athena organization undertakes and directs various research and development activities that make it possible to factor environmental considerations into the design process from the conceptual stage onward. For more information, please visit www.athenasmi.ca.