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Improving Life Cycle Assessment by Including Spatial, Dynamic and Place-Based Modeling

[+] Author Affiliations
John Reap, Bert Bras, Patrick J. Newcomb, Carol Carmichael

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Paper No. DETC2003/DFM-48140, pp. 77-83; 7 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3a: 8th Design for Manufacturing Conference
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, September 2–6, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3701-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3698-3
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Drawing from the substantial body of literature on life cycle assessment / analysis (LCA), the article summarizes the methodology’s limitations and failings, discusses some proposed improvements and suggests an additional improvement. After describing the LCA methodology within the context of ISO guidelines, the article summaries the limitations and failings inherent in the method’s life cycle inventory and impact assessment phases. The article then discusses improvements meant to overcome problems related to lumped parameter, static, site-independent modeling. Finally, the article suggests a remedy for some of the problems with LCA. Linking industrial models with spatially explicit, dynamic and site-specific ecosystem models is suggested as a means of improving the impact assessment phase of LCA.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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