The engineering community has been striving to design more sustainable buildings in an attempt to reduce both environmental impact and energy use during all phases of design, construction and operation. Design professionals currently have very limited guidance or tools to incorporate life-cycle and sustainability concepts into their designs. After reviewing the capabilities and limitations of four current life cycle analysis (LCA) computer programs, this research has selected the Athena Impact Estimator v4.0 to perform parametric studies of structural members made up of different construction materials. The energy consumption values are calculated and compared for columns, beams, concrete suspended slabs, precast double-tee sections and various other floor types. While Athena did offer some insights based on its LCA results, this research has concluded that existing LCA and sustainability analysis programs have too few options to meet the current needs of design professionals. A more accurate, sophisticated whole-building LCA tool needs to be developed to assess sustainable properties of design alternatives and to produce the most sustainable structural systems.