Building a positive impact with Life Cycle Analysis

January 26, 2023 Published by Tritech Engineering

Life Cycle Analysis plays an integral role in our sustainability strategy at Tritech.

Once upon a time, the deciding factor in procurement and selecting the most suitable materials for a building project was cost. Often, the cheapest option was the one that ticked all the boxes. Today, you might well say cost is still the biggest driver, but now it’s all about cost to the environment. Sustainability, when it comes to choosing the component products for a project has become critical in the procurement process.

That’s not to say that sustainability now comes at the price of cost-efficiency. If a prospective landlord or tenant knows that the systems a building has been equipped with, and the way in which those systems enable the building to perform, will make it more cost-efficient to operate and maintain over the course of its lifetime, that building is going to be a much more attractive proposition. As a socially responsible company, the team at Tritech focuses on procurement strategies that seek to drastically reduce the embodied carbon in, and all carbon emissions that will ultimately result from, our product selection.

Through Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) we evaluate the environmental impact of each product over its entire life cycle, from the raw materials it is made from, the processes associated with its manufacture, how it is transported and distributed, operated and maintained, right through to the way in which it will be recycled or disposed of once it reaches end of use.

Our procurement strategy considers a building from top to bottom, wall to wall, examining all of its requirements in relation to supplying its power, water, data and, of course, air.

With people returning to the workplace, post pandemic, we have all become more mindful of the air we breathe. How buildings are ventilated, and the manner in which they are heated and air-conditioned has never been more important to our health, safety and wellbeing.

Tritech’s Applications of Life Cycle Analysis in Building Construction

In Life Cycle Analysis carried out on a project such as the Workday European Headquarters at King’s Building on Church Street in Dublin 7, we had to balance the quality of the supplied ventilation system and the air it produces with important factors like the materials it was made from and the amount of energy it consumes.

When considering water supply and purification systems, one of our principal focuses will be to look at how each option can reduce water consumption. Our expertise in this area came into play on this project for West Pharma, where we were responsible for the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of systems including the ductwork system, chilled water system, heating system, process cooling system, steam and condensate system, softened water system, and condensate drainage system.

With energy consumption and power supply so topical right now, particularly in relation to data centres, a perfect example of how we bring our sustainability strategy to bear and utilise Life Cycle Analysis is the Elavon Data Centre in IDA Business Park, Ballynattin, Arklow, Co. Wicklow. On this project we were tasked with carrying out the electrical works on the expansion of the data hall, installing new systems that would eliminate power failures, as well as new lighting controls within the data centre itself.

Smart applications and systems can benefit from Life Cycle Analysis; not only in terms of the sustainability of the materials in the circuit boards, sensors and wiring, but how the system’s capabilities will improve and optimise the building’s performance as it learns how and when occupants use the facilities most.

If you would like to discover more about how sustainability is core to how we work at Tritech, and the role Life Cycle Analysis plays in our procurement planning, please feel free to get in touch.