The Metal Construction Association, Glenview, Ill., recently sponsored a training program in Chicago about lifecycle assessment. Jennifer Cooper and Jeff Yorzyk of West Chester, Pa.-based Five Winds International spoke to nearly 50 attendees. They described LCA as a holistic, impactassessment tool that considers the entire value chain involved in producing a product. Creating an LCA for a product requires life-cycle thinking, which involves looking at quantifiable areas and evaluating the total impact of a product on the environment. An LCA calculation generally is based on an assessment tool that generates a single numerical value for a product or an assembly. LCA numbers can be company or product specific and also can be compiled from industry averages. Cooper and Yorzyk explained that going through the process helps create a different way of approaching design and offers improved decision making, opportunities for communication with supply-chain partners and end users, improved relationships with stakeholders and regulators, focused studies and research, and more efficiency in sustainable activities. To learn more about LCA in metal construction, see “Metal of Honor,” page 94. For more information about MCA, visit www.metalconstruction.org.