Which Tool Should I Choose?
Athena Pavement LCA (desktop) - or - Athena Pavement LCA (web)
The Pavement LCA desktop is a standalone program that provides environmental LCA results for Canadian and select US regional materials manufacturing, roadway construction and maintenance life cycle stages. It allows custom roadway design, or users can draw from a library of over 150 existing roadway designs. It is intended to run on computers running Windows™ operating systems.
The Pavement LCA web app is web application that provides environmental LCA results for Canadian regional materials manufacturing, roadway construction and maintenance life cycle stages. It allows custom roadway design, or users can draw from a library of over 48 existing Canadian roadway designs. It can be run on any modern standards compliant web browser. If your project in the US then you need our desktop version of this tool, which has both Canadian and US regional data.
Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings - or - Athena EcoCalculator for Building Assemblies
The EcoCalculator is a spreadsheet tool with pre-defined assembly and envelope configurations – the user needs only to input the square footage of any particular assembly to receive instantaneous embodied (does not include operating energy) life cycle impact assessment results. The results presented are the same as, and derived from the parent software, the Impact Estimator. However, the user is limited to the existing pre-defined assemblies and has no ability to modify them or create their own.
The Impact Estimator is a standalone program that allows users to model their own custom assembly and envelope configurations, allowing them the flexibility to more accurately model proposed designs and existing buildings. The user needs some technical knowledge, but does not need to be a structural engineer or architect in order to model a building in Impact Estimator. Although not an energy simulation tool, the Impact Estimator allows the user to input energy simulation results to calculate their operating effects alongside their embodied effects.
The EcoCalculator gives a broad strokes estimation of the effects of a design.
The Impact Estimator provides a much more detailed, robust and accurate life cycle impact assessment of the design or existing building.