Comperative ecological Life Cycle Assessment for residential buildings
Paper in proceedings, 2011
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) offers a viable way of evaluating a buildings environmental impact throughout all life phases (construction, use/occupation and deconstruction). However, LCAs of buildings still need to be well-established so that in the future, architects and planners will already be able to conduct them at early design stages. The evaluation of residential buildings, which for instance in Switzerland contribute about 88% to the overall Swiss building stock , will be especially important in the future in order to minimize environmental impacts. The Chair of Sustainable Construction at ETH Zurich is conducting a major research study on how to assure comparability, reliability and simplification of LCAs on residential buildings in the future. In a representative study, up to 100 residential apartment buildings are analyzed. The aim of this study is to integrate complexity in LCA by means of identifying those building parameters (e.g. construction materials and components, heating energy, etc.) most relevant for LCAs in typical apartment buildings in terms of their environmental impacts, while also considering economic aspects. In this instance, only Swiss buildings are examined, however, the methodology is generally applicable. Based on this analysis, a concept for a light standardized LCA tool for Swiss residential apartment buildings will be developed which enables architects and planners to easily evaluate the environmental impacts of a building right from the beginning of the design process. This paper introduces the methodological approach applied in the ETH research project Life Cycle Assessment of Infrastructure - Buildings.
life cycle assessment
comparative LCA tool