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Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings

Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings allows users to change the design, substitute materials, and make side–by–side comparisons for any one or all of the environmental impact indicators

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Life Cycle Assessment for Buildings

The ATHENA® Impact Estimator for Buildings is the only software tool that evaluates whole buildings and assemblies based on internationally recognized life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology.

Assess and Compare Environmental Implications of Industrial, Institutional, Commercial and Residential Designs

Using the Estimator, architects, engineers and others can easily assess and compare the environmental implications of industrial, institutional, commercial and residential designs–both for new buildings and major renovations. Where relevant, the software also distinguishes between owner–occupied and rental facilities.

The Estimator puts the environment on equal footing with other more traditional design criteria at the conceptual stage of a project. It incorporates ATHENA’s own widely–acclaimed databases, which cover more than 90% of the structural and envelope systems typically used in residential and commercial buildings. It also simulates over 1,000 different assembly combinations and is capable of modeling 95% of the building stock in North America.

The Estimator takes into account the environmental impacts of:

  • Material manufacturing, including resource extraction and recycled content

  • Related transportation

  • On-site construction

  • Regional variation in energy use, transportation and other factors

  • Building type and assumed lifespan

  • Maintenance, repair and replacement effects

  • Demolition and disposal

  • Operating energy emissions and pre-combustion effects
Although the Estimator doesn’t include an operating energy simulation capability, it does allow users to enter the results of a simulation in order to compute the fuel cycle burdens and factor them into the overall results.

The Estimator provides cradle–to–grave implications in terms of:

  • Embodied primary energy use

  • Global warming potential

  • Solid waste emissions

  • Pollutants to air

  • Pollutants to water

  • Weighted resource use

Make Flexible Comparison of Alternate Building Designs

Accommodating up to five comparisons at once, the Estimator allows users to change the design, substitute materials, and make side–by–side comparisons for any one or all of the environmental impact indicators (see diagram). Or compare the new building design to one you did last year. You can also compare similar projects with different floor areas on a unit floor area basis.

Athena Sustainable Materials Institute
Athena Institute International - US Office
183 West Main Street
Kutztown, Pennsylvania, USA, 19530
Tel: 610.683.9066

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| green building | development | materials |


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