POD|LCA: Parametric Open Data for Life Cycle Assessment


In the spring of 2022, ARPA-E announced a cohort of material and building design teams for the “Harnessing Emissions into Structures Taking Inputs from the Atmosphere” (HESTIA) Program.  Each team in the program is working on a project to develop a carbon-negative material or building design solution. CLF, along with a team of researchers at the University of Washington (the Center for International Trade in Forest Products and the Integrated Design Lab), was awarded $3.7 million over 4 years to lead the Parametric Open Data (POD) | LCA Project, during which we are working closely with each HESTIA material and building design team to develop custom, parametric LCA screening tools to evaluate their performance at a material and building scale. The CLF team is also working on a holistic framework for comparative LCA modeling of building materials that includes biogenic carbon, dynamic LCA and carbon storage over the full life of a building.

Problem Statement

There is a massive potential to use carbon-storing materials in building construction to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. However, the environmental assessment data and methods for novel carbon-storing materials is currently limited. Read more about the research motivation here: ARPA-E $3.7M Grant to Fund Core LCA R&D.

This work is deeply collaborative, drawing from a team of UW researchers with expertise in climate modeling, forestry, dynamic LCA, material science, design, engineering, data science, and tool development. This grant supports CLF in growing its research team and continuing its commitment to accurate, trusted, rigorous, and open access LCA data and tools.

This page will continue to be updated as the project progresses.

For HESTIA Teams

Here is the Resource Page for HESTIA Teams where you can access resources for collaborating with the UW Team.  Email [email protected] for the password.

The Carbon Leadership Forum is part of a UW team that is currently working on a multi-year project funded by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) agency.

This project is called the Parametric Open Data for Life Cycle Assessment (POD | LCA) Project, and the goal of the project is to develop a rigorous and parametric Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework, aligned data, and process-integrated tools in order to quickly and accurately assess the environmental impact of novel carbon-storing materials and innovative building systems during the rapid prototyping and design process.

Project Partners

Research Projects

Tools for Measuring Embodied Carbon

This list provides a quick overview of available tools for architects, engineers, and consultants to evaluate the environmental impacts of buildings and building materials using life cycle assessment.  This is a non-exhaustive list that does not include many tools...

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WBLCA Benchmark Study v2

The Lab is currently conducting a multi-year project to develop a robust and harmonized database of WBLCA benchmarks.About In 2017, the CLF published the Embodied Carbon Benchmark Study for North American buildings. Since then, the practice of whole-building life...

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Material Baselines for North  America / August 2023

The North American Material Baselines Report provides: A snapshot of the state of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for North American-produced building materials, including: Background and methodology CLF Baselines Appendices About The CLF Baseline values...

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