EVAMED. Developing a tool for the environmental assessment of buildings with a life cycle approach in the Latin American context.

Main Presenter: Arvizu-Piña Víctor Alberto 

Co-Authors: García González Andrés Alberto Tortolero Baena Andrés Armendariz López José Francisco

Session: Virtual Poster Session 2

Although LCA is a widely recognized methodology for evaluating, rethinking processes and eventually improving the energy and environmental performance of products and services, its application in the buildings sector is generally complex and time-consuming. The lack of experience and knowledge about this methodology by architects, as well as the lack of information on construction products and processes, are other factors that delay its widespread application.

In recent years, tools have been developed to facilitate the LCA application in buildings, saving time and reducing information requirements. However, most of them have arisen in developed countries, for local use, and generally do not allow national or regional variations. That is, the databases they use are not usually appropriate for use in contexts other than those for which they have been developed.
This work presents the design and the first advances of the EVAMED tool (Environmental Assessment of Buildings with a Life Cycle approach). Its objective is to assist building actors in Latin America, from the early design phases, to the creation of buildings with a lower environmental impact throughout their life cycle. For the production phase (A1-A3), EVAMED is based on data from MEXICANIUH (regional database of life cycle inventories for Latin America, developed by CADIS), as well as on EPDs that have been generated through the Hub Latin America (from the International EPD System). The information on the rest of the life cycle phases is provided by the user (energy consumption during the transport and construction process (A4-A5), during the use phase (B4 and B6), and during the end of life of the building (C1-C4)).
For users using a 3D BIM model, EVAMED provides a plug-in that can be installed in Revit to automatically obtain the quantification of materials. This plug-in also calculates materials for different options of construction systems, based on the geometry of the modeled building (using DYNAMO). Similarly, the user can enter the quantification of materials manually, through an Excel spreadsheet.
The EVAMED interface is friendly and intuitive, as it is aimed at a user who is not an expert in LCA. The entry of the information is through a ‘wizard’ type process. The results that can be obtained in this stage of development of the tool are the environmental impacts by stages of the life cycle, although two more categories are considered: (1) by constructive elements, and (2) constructive elements by Life Cycle stages.

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