Science Inventory

A new data architecture for advancing life cycle assessment


Ingwersen, W., T. Hawkins, T. Transue, D. Meyer, G. Moore, E. Kahn, P. Arbuckle, H. Paulsen, AND G. Norris. A new data architecture for advancing life cycle assessment. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT. Ecomed Verlagsgesellschaft AG, Landsberg, Germany, 20(4):520-526, (2015).


To propose a new underlying data infrastructure for life cycle assessment based on the Resource Description Framework and describe how it will be used for LCA efforts in EPA research and at the USDA


IntroductionLife cycle assessment (LCA) has a technical architecture that limits data interoperability, transparency, and automated integration of external data. More advanced information technologies offer promise for increasing the ease with which information can be synthesized within an LCA framework.VisionA new architecture is described that combines, stores, and annotates data for life cycle assessment. The Resource Description Framework is proposed for managing LCA data. To explore the capabilities of this approach, the LCA Harmonization Tool (LCA-HT) is being developed to map and store data from different sources and to clearly capture user-defined relationships between nomenclatures for easy use. It will enable increased interoperability of LCA data and more structured and automated incorporation of non-LCA data into LCA models.Moving forwardThe LCA-HT is intended to be a core component of LCA data architecture (a data commons) used by US federal agencies and other data providers to make data representing US conditions more accessible for public use. It will also be used to bring together data from human health exposure models with traditional LCA for evaluating near-field human health risk in the life cycle context to demonstrate the practical advancements possible with this new architecture. The tool will remain open source and freely available.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 04/01/2015
Record Last Revised: 01/27/2016
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 310694