A life cycle assessment is an evaluation of the environmental impact of the materials used in a building “from cradle to grave”.
One of the code officials at the IgCC hearings summarized it this way:
The calf is born
You raise the calf, feed it and shelter it.
After about 3 years you kill it, butcher it and eat it.
As you are sitting around the BBQ grill with your friends, enjoying your steak, you say ”This is tasty.”