IEA EBC Annex 72 - Assessing Life Cycle Related Environmental Impacts Caused by Buildings
Research Project, 2017 – 2022

Investment decisions for buildings made today largely determine their environmental impacts over many future decades due to their long lifetimes. Furthermore, such decisions involve a trade-off between additional investments today and potential savings during use and at end of life - in terms of economic costs, primary energy demand, greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts. Since the economic system does not fully account for external environmental effects, environmental resources are used inefficiently. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is suited to complement economic information on buildings with information on their environmental impacts. LCA helps to take measures and action to increase the resource efficiency of buildings and construction.

The project is advancing the research already conducted within EBC Annexes 56 and 57. It broadens the scope of Annex 57 by including operational impacts of buildings in use and by addressing environmental impacts in addition to primary energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions. It is the intention to cover residential, office and school buildings, hospitals and other public buildings, both new and retrofit.

The project is researching harmonization issues arising when applying LCA approaches on buildings. It functions as a platform to exchange experiences and knowledge within partner countries and to foster the application of LCA on buildings in countries with little experience yet.

Project Objectives 
- establish a common methodology guideline to assess the life cycle based primary energy demand, greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts caused by buildings
- establish methods for the development of specific environmental benchmarks for different types of buildings
- derive regionally differentiated guidelines and tools for building design and planning such as BIM for architects and planners
- establish a number of case studies, focused to allow for answering some of the research issues and for deriving empirical benchmarks
- develop national or regional databases with regionally differentiated life cycle assessment data tailored to the construction sector; share experiences with the setup and update of such databases


Alexander Hollberg (contact)

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology


Aalborg University Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark

Architecture and Civil Engineering

Gothenburg, Sweden

Association Pour La Recherche Et Le Developpement Des Methodes Et Processus Industriels - Armines

Paris, France

Budapest University of Technology and Economics

Budapest, Hungary

Czech Technical University in Prague

Praha, Czech Republic

Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Federal University of Espírito Santo

Vitoria, Brazil

Flemish Institute for Technological Research

Mol, Belgium

Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP)

Stuttgart, Germany


Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hong Kong, China

IIT Madras

Chennai, India

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Karlsruhe, Germany

KU Leuven

Leuven, Belgium

Luleå University of Technology

Luleå, Sweden

Mines ParisTech

Paris, France

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Trondheim, Norway

Open University

Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Stockholm, Sweden

Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZAG)

Ljubljana, Slovenia

State University of Campinas

Campinas, Brazil

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH)

Zürich, Switzerland

Technische Universität Graz

Graz, Austria

Texas A&M University

College Station, USA

Tianjin University

Tianjin, China

treeze Ltd.

Uster, Switzerland

University of Melbourne

Parkville, Australia

University of Minho

Braga, Portugal

University of Palermo

Palermo, Italy

University of Seville

Sevilla, Spain


Chalmers University of Technology

Funding Chalmers participation during 2017–2021


More information

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