(pronounced LIF SI-kehl eh-SES-mehnt)
Also known as cradle-to-grave analysis, ecobalance, or life cycle analysis, the idea is to research, evaluate and quantify the full environmental impact associated with a product, service or structure. Only by considering and combining the full range of processes – production/extraction of raw materials, manufacturing/building, distribution/transportation, actual use and associated waste/disposal, etc. – that occur as a consequence of a “thing’s” existence can its total environmental performance/impact be known. As the public becomes increasingly interested in sustainable living, more and more consumers will choose products, services and buildings that have better life cycle assessments.