An Analytical Study of Using Software for Assessing Life-Cycle of Sustainable Building Materials
Bulletin of the Faculty of Engineering. Mansoura University
Building materials causes several negative environmental impacts through its life cycle, and with increasing the awareness of global environmental and sustainable development, the importance of applying sustainability concepts in the selection of building materials has emerged. There are various methods used in assessing materials include: life-cycle assessment, Eco Labelling, and life-cycle cost method which evaluate materials life-cycle economics. Most of this methods assessing materials
... sing materials performance from "cradle to grave". Life-cycle assessment is the most comprehensive method; it is a systematic analysis of the environmental effects caused by a material through its life cycle stages. Software tools has featured in evaluating the life of materials and products cycle, there are numerous programs that enabled to determine materials effects, by analyzing and comparing the complex materials databases which are difficult to compare them manually, As software tools can tradeoffs between alternatives in terms of energy amounts, resource consumption, and waste generated at all life stages, so provide the users with information that enables them to determine which stages need to be reconsidered because of its heavy burden on the environment, which means the ability of the programs to analysis the multiple overlapping of materials data more accurately. The paper aims to focus on the importance of using the software tools for assessing materials, and propose the necessary requirements to develop a special assessing tool. The paper first traces a description of sustainable building materials, assessment methods, and analysis the common assessing programs, in terms of the work of each program mechanism, evaluation criteria, databases, and the flexibility to deal with input data, identifying the advantages of each program to determine which one are more accessible to develop, so can applying in Egypt, using Egyptian data, taking into account the lack of Egyptian database and the complexity of the establishment of such bases, despite its importance of each area separately, and the inability of the database belonging to another state for application in Egypt. The research highlighting one of these programs, which features its availability and ease of use, as an example of how the program compare between some alternatives used in the walls. The research concludes a set of recommendations to the importance of using Evaluation Programs and the importance of developing a special Egyptian tool to facilitate the selection process based on locally criteria, achieved the basic objective of selection sustainable materials.