Promoting sustainability

through research and education... 

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The UWME Design for Environment Lab promotes Sustainability and Design for Environment (DFE) through the advancement of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Industrial Ecology (IE).

Life Cycle Assessment Data

Accessibility to LCA data, e.g., for Product Category Rules (PCRs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), is improving in large part due to national database development efforts.

USDA LCA Digital Commons

Open source data, like that in the USDA LCA Digital Commons, promise more transparency for LCAs. Features include data parameterization and extended meta data.

Design for Environment Courses

In ME515 Life Cycle Assessment, Beren Landaas Wells McKay presented this photo as part of his LCA of photography.  Visit the "Salmon Waves" sculpture at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks.

themed object

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington


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Energy Harvesting & Electrochromatic Windows

funded by the National Science Foundation


Open access data for Materials Flow Analysis (MFA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) are being developed by UWME DFE Lab researchers in partnership with researchers in the UW Center for Intelligent Materials and Systems (CIMS), the UW Luscombe Research Group, the UW Department of Electrical Engineering, and the UW Lighting and Design Faculty.  Data represent materials production, window fabrication processes, and building operations and construction for electrochromic window (ECW) and energy harvesting ECW (EH-ECW) systems.  Data will be formatted in ecospold and ILCD for use in LCA software (e.g., OpenLCA, etc.).


Building construction and operation

UNIT PROCESS DATA representing 3-story Seattle office buildings (building construction and operation plus window installation) based on baseline and high performance construction and conventional, electrochromic, and energy-harvesting electrochromic windows are currently being formatted for OpenLCA1.4.


Window fabrication

LIFE CYCLE MATERIALS FLOW DATA representing window fabrication and related chemicals production are currently being formatted for OpenLCA1.4 and include:

  • inner window pane; glass; 0.0099 m thick, 0.798 W/m-K

  • outer window pane; uncoated glass; 0.006 m thick,  0.9 W/m-K

  • outer window pane, electrochromic glass; 0.006 m thick, 0.9 W/m-K

  • outer window pane, energy-harv. electrochromic glass; 0.006 m thick, 0.9W/m-K

  • float glass, uncoated; at point-of-production

  • indium tin oxide; at point-of-production

  • fluorine tin oxide; at point-of-production

  • proDoT-Me2; at point-of-production

  • SA-13 dye; at point-of-production

  • acrylonitrile; at point-of-production

  • and more

Curriculum integration

The concepts of LCA are being brought into the classroom, here using energy harvesting and storage technologies as the application.  Related resources are:

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