The Athena EcoCalculator for Assemblies provides life cycle assessment results for more than 400 common building assemblies. The tool, which offers one version free of charge on the Athena web site (, was commissioned by the Green Building Initiative for use with the Green Globes environmental rating system. Developed by the Athena Institute in association with the University of Minnesota and Morrison Hershfield Consulting Engineers, the EcoCalculator can be used for new construction, retrofits, and renovations in industrial, institutional, office, and residential settings.

To use the calculator, users select an assembly sheet from one of six categories: exterior walls, interior walls, roofs, windows, intermediate floors, and columns and beams. Assemblies within each category are then assessed in several subcategories: energy consumption; material resources consumed in manufacture; potential contribution to global warming; potential for acidification; detrimental influence on human respiratory function; potential contribution to aquatic eutrophication; and potential depletion of ozone and contribution to smog. Results appear in tabular form and show real-time changes as inputs are adjusted.

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