Lifespan vs. Warranty - is there a difference?


I am looking at different cladding materials for LCAs and am trying to determine the lifespan of one which boasts a 50 year warranty. Would I assume that that means it has a 50 year lifespan? And thus it would be replaced once in a 60 year building life? I couldn’t find further information on the website for the material, so I’m not sure if there’s a default 60 year lifespan on EPDs unless otherwise mentioned, or if I should go off the warranty. Any and all thoughts are appreciated!

Hi Olivia,

I have generally thought of warrantied life as a pretty suitable stand-in for technical lifespan. That doesn’t work for all materials (especially those that will get refreshed well ahead of the end of their technical life like interior finishes - [not sure many pink or avocado green sinks/toilets from the 1970s would have been kept until failure]) but it does for some.

That does mean it would be replaced 1 time during the In-Use phase of a building’s lifespan. Also, as the majority of EPDs are A1-A3 only (with some including A4/A5 or C1-C4) I am not used to seeing a lifespan defined - the EPD is just for 1 product.

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In my experience warranties are only covering manufacturing defects and are not for the full expected service life. As a general caution read the fine print in the warranties, typically they somewhat difficult to enact, for example we once were offered a warranty on galvanized steel for 50 years with the proviso that we deliver the steel to the galvanizer’s baths, which would have required deconstructing portions of the building.