Athena Sustainable Materials Institute
Service Provider in Ottawa, Ontario
The ATHENA Sustainable Materials Institute is finding answers to critical questions about the environmental impact of buildings and building products. The not-for-profit Institute is a world-leading source of data, expertise and tools for designing buildings with the environment in mind. Athena`s research teams follow common building materials from cradle-to-grave and calculate the environmental effects at each stage in the product`s life cycle. ATHENA v2.0 uses that data in a building systems context to capture the full environmental story for a conceptual building design. An objective think tank, the Athena Institute is working with leading edge construction sector practitioners, product manufacturers and policy makers in partnership towards the next generation of green buildings. Athena’s reputation as a credible, objective organization is built on its science-based, transparent collaboration and clear, robust information. It ensures claims are supported by facts to achieve verification for the highest sustainability objectives. The construction sector and its product suppliers are moving rapidly towards life cycle assessment (LCA)—the Institute was formed to help them get there. Athena does so largely through work for the common good, such as the continued development of its LCA design tools, the Impact Estimator and the EcoCalculator. These tools, and the environmental footprint data behind them, require constant maintenance and updates. Financial support from members facilitates an unmatched depth and breadth of information that couldn’t otherwise be achieved. Membership also supports education, advocacy and expertise as North American codes and standards evolve towards LCA. With a highly specialized team of experts, the Institute is frequently contracted for custom research projects that require a particularly deep level of knowledge and experience in construction sector LCA. Whenever possible, results of these research projects are linked back to the core goal of delivering LCA tools to the construction sector as a whole.