There has been a growing awareness about the environmental impacts of producing and consuming goods and services. Among the various tools that have been developed to better understand these impacts, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one of the most commonly used tools to estimate the environmental effects of products and services. Given that a significant percentage of a product’s impacts are defined during the design and development, it is necessary to effectively integrate LCA into these early phases of the product lifecycle. However, the lack of standardized practices, complex modelling approaches, data and time requirements, special training requirements for designers, and uncertainties in the results make it difficult to apply LCA in the design and development stages. In order to integrate LCA into the design and development stage, it is necessary to systematically generate and compare alternatives, to analyze scenarios, and to evaluate changes for different product structures and architectures so that impacts can be minimized. Functional analysis is a widely-used technique in the conceptual design environment but it has not been effectively used in the LCA domain. In this thesis, functional analysis and systems engineering principles are used to implement an Object-Oriented framework for LCA. The results of the process demonstrate the potential for an easy to update and scalable LCA model that facilitates comparability. Each module in this model can be developed separately and integrated effectively into a larger model. This framework hold promise to better integrate LCA into the design and development phases.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Product life cycle--Data processing; Functional analysis; Systems engineering

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial and Systems Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Industrial and Systems Engineering (KGCOE)


Marcos Esterman

Advisor/Committee Member

Brian Thorn


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HF5415.155 .G34 2016


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes