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Audience: architects, engineers, designers, environmental consultants
Input: Using Athena's own graphical user interface, you first enter a general description of your building project, including its location. You then specify one or more comparable designs by selecting from typical assemblies or by entering specific quantities of individual products. Depending on the assembly, the user may have to answer prompts about floor or wall areas, working loads and spans, or other conceptual design information. Users may choose to work in either SI or Imperial units.
Output: The model breaks down the selected assemblies comprising a design into their respective products for the purpose of applying the model's life cycle inventory (LCI) databases that contain estimates of the environmental effects per unit of each building product. The inventory data includes natural resource, energy and water inputs to processes as well as emissions to air, water and land for the manufacture, transportation and use of all of the individual building products.
Athena model users may either consult detailed inventory results or have Athena compare and contrast two or more designs across six predefined environmental measures covering embodied energy, resource use, air and water pollution, greenhouse gas effects and total solid wastes produced. Users may also have results reported in absolute terms, on a sq. footage basis or normalized to a particular benchmark design.
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