Cradle to Grave: Case Studies of Buildings’ Environmental Footprint
This study demonstrates how Cradle to Grave or Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) could be applied from a single building material or consumer product to a complex system such as an entire building throughout its life cycle. It highlights the difficulties in modeling the whole building over a long service life (60 years) and its implications on the construction process. The study also examines the significance of impacts that occur during the life cycle through 3 case studies of office buildings in Michigan. The study aims also to provide a comprehensive assessment to which building assembly components (foundations, structure, walls, floors, roofs) contribute the most to the total impacts to inform architects’ design decisions regarding the building components that could reduce the total environmental burdens.