Currently, Cardinal LCA accounts for the Cradle-to-Gate life cycle of the studied object, also known as the Product stage, including the raw material supply, transport and manufacturing stages for the product. The published EPD from the data source includes the Product Stages (A1-A3), therefore, the plug-in currently works only for this stage. In the next stages, we shall expand to the full cradle-to-grave life cycle, with an option of including the building’s construction impacts and operational energy within the scope. Also, expansion to include architectural assemblies that shall include all materials required for the product’s manufacturing and use including hardware, sealants, adhesives, coatings, and finishing shall be incorporated. Further, currently, only the Global Warming Potential(GWP) values are analyzed. In the future versions, we shall expand to all environmental impact values and respective conversions for a holistic overview.
Cardinal LCA allows analysis for a respective set of geometries. This set may be a single building assembly (for example, a wall section), or a shoebox model for a building, or the whole building and even multiple buildings. Moreover, a comparative analysis of two or more design options has been facilitated through easy visualization. Currently, the possible geometry input includes the structural, architectural and interior systems of a building(s) for environmental impact comparison.
The functional units to quantify the values in the analysis of the product being studied. We follow the International System of Units (SI base units) for the quantification of building geometries and the environmental impacts. Assurance of the compatibility with the unit system and scope clarity for a single or comparative study, is the user’s or modeler’s responsibility.
Cardinal LCA currently utilizes two databases currently, namely, the EC3 database incubated at
Carbon Leadership Forum
and The Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE V3.0, Nov 2019) by Circular Ecology. Wherever data
source was unavailable,
proxies have been used referring to the US 2019-21 values. Uncertainty has been reduced by the
of geographic values,
technical accuracy and/or available analogous data. However, the user/modeler shall be
for the accurate
application of the datasets and material entries to the building.
The datasets used, and the details on the publishing of EPD, geographical precision, accuracy etc. are either mentioned, or can be checked with the respective database sources.
Additionally, the user/modeler may choose to create a custom material by using information from a particular EPD.