Think about it, metrics for sustainability provide fact-based defenses for faith-based decisions. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on an individual product is an example of a fact-based defense for choosing a specific material.
For example, say that you set a criterion of global warming potential as your decision-making criterion. How could you compare vastly different types of material to learn which has a greater impact? Now you can because the LCA provides that level of information.
Now, if you look at sustainable buildings as opposed to sustainable materials the LCA is the natural way of taking the information and expanding it to the building level. Setting the correct discrete limits up front creates a potential for the limitless. We can take this same measurable – global warming potential – and expand it across the whole building assembly.
Can we say that this building is more sustainable than another?
Absolutely we can – the metrics are in place. Simply pick what is important to you. After all, sustainability means different things to different people.
There are a whole range of important metrics that people can use in their consideration process. All the information is available and there are systems in place to be able to expand across the building such as the LCA.
So it is now possible to defend your faith in sustainability with facts; as long as you understand the systems like LCA and the information that is available. Maybe faith is making a comeback.
What do you think?