Australia’s first Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conference for building and construction will take place in Melbourne this November and will explore the strategic benefits of life cycle approaches for the industry.

The Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS) has organised the two-day conference to be held on 26-27 November at Melbourne’s Mercure Treasury Gardens.Their president, Rob Rouwette explains that the conference series will present new systematic approaches to combatting climate change and promoting sustainability as key to achieving a low carbon economy.

“More than $20 billion worth of Australian projects engage rating tools that currently, or soon will, require Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) information regarding the products that are used,” says Rouwette.

“By understanding the environmental impacts and benefits over the whole of life, companies can improve a structure’s performance and identify opportunities for reducing capital and operating costs.”

In promoting the economy of LCA approaches, Rouwette also notes that the uptake of LCA centric tools by institutions such as the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) already signals the potential for prosperity for LCA professionals in the future.

“As the GBCA, Urban Development Institute of Australia and Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia introduce new LCA centric credits and tools, the demand for green building professionals with LCA skills will surge,” Rouwette says.

“With organisations looking to measure and manage corporate social responsibility issues as well as an increased demand for transparency by customers and end users, rating tools are fast becoming an essential feature of project management.”

ALCAS says the conference has the following aims:

  • Demonstrate the potential for LCA to improve the environmental performance of buildings and to reduce cost for environmental compliance and innovation.
  • To connect developers, construction companies and design professionals with the LCA professionals.
  • Present applications of the LCA currently being undertaken in the materials, building and construction sectors.
  • Show the recent developments in the databases, tools and approaches for LCA in building and construction.
  • Building consensus around LCA methods relating to building and construction.

The organisation is currently calling for paper abstracts from those in the industry who wish to contribute to the event.  The call for papers will close 12 July and the conference program will be released closer to the date of the conference.