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Measuring the Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Performance of Concrete: The BEES Approach

Published

Author(s)

Barbara C. Lippiatt, S Ahmad

Abstract

Society is increasingly concerned about the implications of manufactured products for the environment, public health, and future costs. How does a product affect Global Warming, Smog, Fossil Fuel Depletion, and Human Toxicity? How about its Costs over Time? Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) addresses these questions by measuring the life-cycle environmental and economic performance of construction products. Used by thousands of designers worldwide, BEES measures environmental performance using the life-cycle assessment approach specified in the ISO 14040 series of standards. All stages in the life of a product are analyzed: raw material acquisition, manufacture, transportation, installation, use, and recycling and waste management. Twelve environmental impacts are assessed: global warming, acidification, eutrophication, fossil fuel depletion, indoor air quality, habitat alteration, smog, ozone depletion, ecological toxicity, human health, criteria air pollutants, and water intake. Economic performance is measured using the ASTM standard life-cycle cost method, which covers the costs of initial investment, replacement, operation, maintenance and repair, and disposal. Environmental and economic performance are combined into an overall performance measure using the ASTM standard for Multi-Attribute Decision Analysis. The paper will explain the BEES approach and illustrate its application to alternative concrete products with and without supplementary materials.
Citation
Proceedings of the International Workshop on Sustainable Development and Concrete Technology

Keywords

economic performance, environmental performance, green construction, life-cycle assessment, life-cycle costing, sustainable development

Citation

Lippiatt, B. and Ahmad, S. (2005), Measuring the Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Performance of Concrete: The BEES Approach, Proceedings of the International Workshop on Sustainable Development and Concrete Technology (Accessed May 28, 2024)

Issues

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Created May 1, 2005, Updated February 19, 2017