The methodology of life cycle assessment of products and services is most often known by the abbreviation LCA from the English Life-Cycle Assessment. It is a systematic approach to assessing the environmental impact of a product. A product is considered here to be a defined product system comprising all inputs of materials, energy and transport needed for the production of the product, its own production and use up to the disposal phase. Thus, the whole life cycle of a given product is included and all environmental impacts associated with this life cycle are assessed.
During the development of the methodology, the following structure of the whole LCA analysis was formed, which consists of 4 phases:
- goal and scope definition
- inventory analysis
- impact assessmenT
- Interpretation of results and suggestion of improvement (Interpretation, Improvement assessment)
The detailed methodology of LCA analysis is now contained mainly in the following international standards:
- ČSN EN ISO 14040: 2006 Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Principles and syllabus
- ČSN EN ISO 14044: 2006 Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Requirements and guidelines
- ČSN ISO / TR 14047: 2005 Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Examples of application ISO 14042
- ČSN P ISO TS 14048: 2003 Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Data documentation format
This whole area in the construction industry realates the issue collectively called "sustainable construction". Within the EU, a Communication from the European Commission (EC) entitled "A Roadmap to a More Resource Efficient Europe" was published in 2011. For the construction sector, on the one hand, high consumption / extraction of natural resources and, on the other hand, a large potential for possible savings were identified. The set of newly created EN 15000 series standards (often using previously developed ISO standards) provides a single European system for assessing the sustainability of buildings and construction products (products and services), based on a life-cycle approach and the main aim of which is to enable comparability of results. The sustainability assessment carried out according to these new standards quantifies the impacts and aspects of the environmental, social and economic characteristics of buildings using quantitative and qualitative indicators (e.g. GWP, amount of renewable energy, etc.).
TZUS Prague, s.p., has been following these trends for a long time and, based on good and long-term knowledge of construction productions and processes, offers organizations assistance in creating LCA studies focused on product life cycle issues. It is equipped with personnel, computer software and connection to important world databases of generic data to solve these problems.
In the field of construction products, the importance of this issue increases in connection with the inclusion of the 7th essential requirement in the CPR (Regulation (EU) No. 305/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council - CPR), which assumes the gradual creation of EPD = environmental product declarations where the tool is also LCA.