Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a well-defined method to calculate the environmental burden of a product or service.
The recent book A practical guide to LCA, for students designers and business managers (Vogtländer, 2010) is an attempt to explain LCA in such a way that students and other interested people (non-experts) can easily and quickly understand how to do the required calculations.
Another hurdle, however, is to acquire the data required for a specific LCA calculation. Although the internet is the modern source of data, there is still a need for data guides that provide data in an easy and accessible way. Especially in labs and workshops, it appears that look-up tables in a reference guide are faster than a search on the internet or searches in big computer databases.
A quick reference guide like this seems to be very useful in the early design phases, when it is essential to have a good overview of alternative design solutions. This Quick Reference Guide on LCA data provides frequently required data in practice, and gives URLs of where more specific data can be found.
The authors hope is that this book will not only be used by students, but also by designers, architects, and business managers (and their consultants), contributing to the wider awareness that LCA is an indispensible tool in modern design and engineering.
URL on this book: http://www.vssd.nl/hlf/b019.htm