Whole-Building LCA Tools for LEED v4 and v4.1

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Whole-building life-cycle assessment (WBLCA) can help project teams reduce embodied carbon as well as many other environmental impacts of building materials. And it’s incentivized in LEED and other rating systems. But how do you do it? In this course, we’ll review the basics of WBLCA and then look in-depth at two software tools for conducting a WBLCA—Athena Impact Estimator and Tally. 


Paula brings passion, humor, and discernment to all her writing and speaking. Whether it’s her latest feature article, a popular Greenbuild session, or a custom workshop for a group of manufacturers, she’s ferociously committed to truth, accuracy, and thoroughly knowing her stuff. In addition to her consulting and training work, Paula manages ongoing content development, publications, and LEEDuser. She has been a speaker at the AIA National Convention, Greenbuild, and many other venues.

Grant Finlayson is a senior research associate and operations manager at the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute. Grant is a mechanical engineer and information technology professional with extensive experience in fieldwork and in computer modeling and data acquisition with diverse software and hardware systems. He is a specialist in life-cycle assessments for buildings using the Impact Estimator and is a lead Athena researcher on a variety of LCA projects. He is additionally responsible for testing and evaluation of the Impact Estimator.

Roderick Bates is a principal at KieranTimberlake. There, he interprets ecological, economic, climate, social, and site data to inform sustainable building design. Rod assists architectural teams with simulation-driven design evaluations, using the results to envision design modifications and bespoke tools that improve a building's energy performance and thermal comfort. For example, following an initiative to quantify the embodied energy of buildings, he worked with the Research Group to develop Tally, a Revit application that lets designers access accurate Life Cycle Assessment data and reporting tools directly in their digital models.