Conducting a life cycle assessment (LCA)


Embodied carbon is particularly relevant during the design and construction phase of a project, where choices regarding materials and construction methods can have a long lasting impact. With this short course you will understand how to conduct, interpret and optimise an embodied whole life carbon assessment during the design phase of your construction project.

6 hours study time (6 weeks access to the course material)

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Life cycle carbon assessment

In the built environment sector, the measurement of life cycle carbon has become increasingly crucial. For some developers it is now mandatory to provide carbon assessment data in project design documentation. This short online course has been developed specifically to demonstrate how you can effectively assess the carbon impact of your building. We will provide step-by-step guidance through the process, suggesting ways you may adapt your design to reduce your carbon rating and show you how to interpret and present your results.

Course Structure

This course is divided into 5 main topics plus a worked example showing how an LCA is conducted using LCA software.

Topic areas
LCA Primer  – essential background knowledge on the core principles and methodologies that underpin LCAs
Goal and Scope  – setting boundaries, and different types of carbon emmissions
Inventory analysis  – the types of data and software needed to carry out a carbon assessment
Impact assessment  – the environmental impact of various construction materials
Interpretation  – how to interpret and make decisions based on the LCA output

LCA Worked example

Using a case study scenario and a leading LCA software tool (One Click LCA) our worked example takes you through the stages of how an LCA is conducted.
At various points during the course you will be directed back to this example so you can see how your learning can be applied in practice.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, you will be able to

  • Review the concept of life cycle assessment (LCA) and its significance in the measurement and optimisation of embodied carbon in building projects.
  • identify the scope, stages, and methodologies involved in conducting life cycle carbon assessments that are applied to construction projects
  • Evaluate a detailed worked example of a life cycle embodied carbon assessment for a given scenario and conduct an assessment using available tools/software.
  • gain the ability to interpret the LCA data effectively and communicate the findings.

Time Commitment

The total estimated study time for completing this course is 6 hours. This estimate includes revisiting resources, note-taking, and completing the online assessment.You will have 6 weeks of access to the course material.

Self-Paced Learning

This short course has been created by UCEM subject matter experts and learning designers, with the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI).

Our Subject Matter Expert on this course was UCEM Associate Lecturer, Dr Subarna Sivashanmugam B.E, MSc, PhD, AFHEA

Designed for self-paced learning, you can pause, resume at various sections, and explore deeper into the available material. Our online delivery method provides flexibility, enabling you to study at your convenience, anytime and anywhere that suits your need. Using a blend of audio and visual learning methods, this course is devised to take a complex subject and present this in an easy-to-understand format. To replicate a classroom workshop experience; additional hints and tips are provided at various key stages of the course.

 Who should study this course

This course is designed for construction professionals seeking expertise in conducting and interpreting life cycle carbon assessments to optimise material selection in construction projects. Suitable professionals include architects, architectural design technologists, design managers, BIM Managers, building design consultants, construction engineers, and sustainability advisors.

While the course utilises a new build example, it aligns with RICS guidance, treating refurbishments/ retrofits of existing buildings as equivalent to new build construction during life cycle carbon assessment. Professionals involved in construction projects, such as construction managers, Local Authority managers, Housing Associations, interior designers, commercial managers, and consultants, will also benefit from learning more about this topic in order to take part in informed discussions about carbon assessments.

This course accommodates individuals with limited or prior knowledge of the subject. However, delegates will find it most useful with a foundational understanding and experience of the built environment.

Entry Requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for Conducting a LIfe Cycle Carbon Assessment; but delegates will gain more from this course if they are involved in the design phase of construction projects.


At the end of the study period there is an online quiz which will assess your learning. You must achieve 80% or more to successfully complete the course. Additional attempts will be permitted should you not be successful on your first attempt. On successful completion of the course, you will receive a personalised UCEM certificate of completion for 6 hours of formal CPD.

Enrolment details

To enrol today simply “add to basket” and proceed to the checkout to pay by credit card, debit card or PayPal. Individual or corporate bookings welcome.

For payment by invoice or to purchase for multiple delegates, please contact:


Got some questions about our short courses and training programmes or need help with your registration? Get in touch with our friendly admissions team using the following details:

UK (Free): 0800 019 9697 (Press 1)

International: +44 (0)118 921 4696 (Press 1)



UCEM Alumni?

Don’t forget to input your UCEM alumni code to gain 15% discount on the full price of this product (it cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount offers).

Contact to receive your alumni discount code. Further details about UCEM Alumni association can be found here

Technical Requirements

To maximise your learning experience, you will need access to:

  • a personal computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device with audio & video playback capability
  • access to the Internet (via a broadband connection recommended)

Be able to

  • use an up-to-date web browser (for example):

Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge

  • open PDF documents using software such as Adobe

Please be aware if using a system within a firewall you may need your IT Team to allow pop-ups and access to YouTube.


Want to learn more?

Check out our other short courses and online CPD by returning to the UCEM Online Academy home page.


Logo of One Click LCAThe worked example in this course was carried out using One Click LCA. Learn more about One Click LCA at: