Calculator performs life cycle assessment for slag cement concrete

Sources: Slag Cement Association (SCA), Farmington Hills, Mich.

SCA has posted for free download a calculator with which concrete producers can quantify and interpret cradle-to-gate life cycle assessments (LCA) reflecting the environmental impact of mixtures with and without slag cement. Calculations are based on the industry-average Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for ready mixed concrete that incorporates industry-average EPDs for slag cement and portland cement in the United States. The calculator also allows users to evaluate how different concrete mixtures affect whole building impacts based on a typical case study project.

“This is a great tool for the ready-mixed concrete industry because producers can immediately demonstrate to owners and developers how the use of slag cement can help positively impact the environmental footprint of a structure or building,” says SCA President Ed Griffith. “Industry professionals can use the LCA calculator to help earn points through the LEED green building rating system.”

The first of four calculator sections allows users to select from a list of preset concrete mixes and alter the percentage of slag cement; graphed results show the impacts for baseline and slag cement-modified mixes in real time and enable users to apply region-specific supply chain characteristics. Users can also enter up to 10 custom mix designs for individual environmental impact calculations; in turn, practitioners can benchmark those mixes as a percentage of region-specific industry averages. The calculator can also be used to detail slag cement’s impact on a building as a whole, allowing users to enter amounts for each custom mix earmarked on a given project. The Life Cycle Assessment Calculator for Slag Cement or a companion EPD can be obtained here.