Submissions:LCA Pattern

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Current revision ID: 12311

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General description

Name: LCA Pattern
Submitted by: YingjieHu
Also Known As:
Intent: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies the environmental impact of products taking into account their entire life-span and production chain. This ontology design pattern specifies key aspects of LCA/LCI data models, namely the notions of flows, activities, agents, and products, as well as their properties.
Competency Questions:
  • Is a certain flow a reference product?
  • What is the location of an activity?
Solution description: The pattern is intended to foster interoperability between existing data models, specifications, and software, and thereby act as a joint building block for the rapidly increasing interest in semantics within the broader LCA community.
Reusable OWL Building Block: (757)
Consequences: This ontology design pattern does neither cover the process of carrying out life cycle assessments, e.g., how data is gathered or how so-called system boundaries are defined, nor does it provide the variety of spatial, temporal, and thematic attributes used to scope inventory items, e.g., to express the fact that coal extraction may have varying impacts depending on the geographic region and used technology.
Scenarios: The proposed ontology design pattern 1 is meant to form a common core for the semantic description of key elements of life cycle inventories. A solar panel example: assessing the impacts of operating a solar array goes beyond the pure manufacturing and assembly of the photovoltaic modules. It also includes transportation emissions, installation emissions, operation emissions, and the final disposal emissions. Such assessment first requires the gathering of all relevant data from different sources into a so-called Life Cycle Inventory (LCI), followed by the actual assessment of the environmental impacts based on the gathered data, used models, and the literature. Understanding the complex impact of products is crucial for arriving at, and maintaining, a sustainable world where human needs are met without causing harm to the environment or impacting the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Known Uses:
Web References:
Other References:
Examples (OWL files):
Extracted From:
Reengineered From:
Has Components:
Specialization Of:
Related CPs:


The LCA Pattern Content OP locally defines the following ontology elements:

ObjectProperty hasCompartment (owl:ObjectProperty)
hasCompartment page
ObjectProperty hasLocation (owl:ObjectProperty)
hasLocation page
ObjectProperty hasProperty (owl:ObjectProperty)
hasProperty page
ObjectProperty hasTemporalExtent (owl:ObjectProperty)
hasTemporalExtent page
ObjectProperty isInputOf (owl:ObjectProperty)
isInputOf page
ObjectProperty isOutputOf (owl:ObjectProperty)
isOutputOf page
ObjectProperty performs (owl:ObjectProperty)
performs page
ObjectProperty playsRoleOf (owl:ObjectProperty)
playsRoleOf page
Class Activity (owl:Class) Each activity is performed by at least one agent such as an coal power plant that performs the generation of electricity.
Activity page
Class Agent (owl:Class)
Agent page
Class Compartment (owl:Class)
Compartment page
Class ElementaryFlow (owl:Class) It describes material or energy that is entering the system from the environment without any previous transformation by humans or is leaving the system by being released into the environment without further human transformation
ElementaryFlow page
Class Flow (owl:Class) Flows are streams of material or energy that can act as the inputs and outputs of activities.
Flow page
Class IntermediateFlow (owl:Class) Intermediate flows occur between processes of the studied system.
IntermediateFlow page
Class Location (owl:Class)
Location page
Class Product (owl:Class)
Product page
Class Property (owl:Class)
Property page
Class ReferencedProduct (owl:Class)
ReferencedProduct page
Class Time (owl:Class)
Time page
air (owl:NamedIndividual)
air page
soil (owl:NamedIndividual)
soil page
water (owl:NamedIndividual)
water page

Additional information

In a nutshell, estimating the environmental impact of a certain product requires an understanding of all impacts accumulated during the creation, lifetime, and decommissioning of said product. With respect to the solar panel example introduced in our related paper, the creation of the solar arrays requires multiple activities such as the transportation of resources, the generation of electric power by a coal power plant necessary to manufacture certain parts of the panels, or the disposal of polluted sludge accumulated during the production. In other words, the Eco-efficiency of solar panels depends on the activities involved in all stages of their life-cycle.


Scenarios about LCA Pattern

No scenario is added to this Content OP.


Reviews about LCA Pattern

There is no review about this proposal. This revision (revision ID 12311) takes in account the reviews: none

Other info at evaluation tab

Modeling issues

Modeling issues about LCA Pattern

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