A harmonized method for automatable life cycle sustainability performance assessment and comparison of civil engineering works design concepts
Paper in proceedings, 2020

The life cycle sustainability performance of civil engineering works is increasingly important. The possibility to influence the sustainability of a project design is larger in the conceptual stage than in later stages. Better-informed decisions regarding design choices’ impact on sustainability can be made by comparing conceptual project designs based on an assessment of their life cycle sustainability performance. It is essential that concepts are assessed in a harmonized way and compared impartially. Current standards provide the general framework for the assessment of sustainability performance, but do not give detailed guidance on calculation of sustainability indicators and their aggregation. Since design in automated systems is becoming increasingly common, there is a growing need for machine-readable data and automatable assessment methods. Assessment methods which can be applied using open-access data is important to achieve fair competition. This paper aims to provide a method for life cycle sustainability performance assessment and comparison of civil engineering works design concepts, possible to apply using open-access Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and life cycle assessment (LCA) data. The purpose is to enable fair and automatable sustainability assessments of design concepts, to facilitate impartial comparisons of such assessments as a basis for choosing sustainable designs. A literature review of relevant standards and scientific papers on sustainability assessment of construction and civil engineering works was performed. A harmonized, fair and automatable method for life cycle sustainability assessment and comparison of civil engineering works design concepts, well-suited for optimization purposes, is presented. However, the aim currently limits categories and indicators possible to include. The proposed method includes guidance on the calculation of environmental, social and economic indicators, based on LCA, life cycle costing (LCC) and external costs, and aggregation using normalisation and weighting factors of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF). The proposed method allows for an impartial comparison of the sustainability of design concepts, resulting in better-informed decisions.

LCA

PEF

indicators

Design

life cycle sustainability assessment

civil engineering works

LCC

Life Cycle Cost Analysis

Life Cycle Assessment

Author

Kristine Ek

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Alexandre Mathern

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Rasmus Rempling

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Mats Karlsson

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Petra Brinkhoff

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

Jacob Lindberg

NCC AB

Lars Rosen

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science

17551307 (ISSN) 17551315 (eISSN)

Vol. 588 052023

BEYOND 2020 – World Sustainable Built Environment conference
Göteborg, Sweden,

Projekteringsprocess för ökad hänsyn till produktions­metoder, klimat och miljöpåverkan i byggprocessen

Swedish Transport Administration, 2018-07-01 -- 2020-06-30.

Sustainable design and production planning

VINNOVA, 2017-11-01 -- 2020-02-29.

NCC AB, 2017-11-01 -- 2020-05-29.

Swedish Transport Administration, 2017-11-01 -- 2020-05-29.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Production

Subject Categories

Infrastructure Engineering

Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology

Environmental Sciences

More information

Latest update

11/23/2020