A review of online sources of open-access life cycle assessment data for the construction sector
Paper in proceeding, 2020

The importance of life cycle sustainability in the construction sector is increasing in the light of rising awareness on sustainability issues in society. A means to identify more sustainable options is to assess and compare their sustainability performance. The standards ISO 21931-2 and EN 15643-1 to 5 establish the framework and requirements for sustainability assessment of buildings and civil engineering works. The standards require life cycle assessment (LCA) to be the basis for the environmental part of the sustainability assessment. LCA is a powerful evidence-based method but it requires extensive data. Access to free, easily available and preferably machine-readable LCA data is essential to increase the use of LCA in the construction sector and to make competition fair for all tenderers. This paper aims to compile existing online sources for open-access LCA data of interest for the construction sector. The purpose is to provide a reference document that facilitates the use of LCA in construction. An in-depth search of publications and internet resources was performed, focusing on European sources of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and process-based LCA datasets. A comprehensive overview of the European data sources available online and relevant to the construction sector is presented. This research work reveals the existence of numerous sources, often difficult and time-consuming to find. The overview in the paper facilitates finding online data needed for LCA, in many cases in a machine-readable format. This can contribute to increasing the use of LCA in the construction sector, which is important when developing buildings or civil engineering works that are more sustainable over their whole life cycle. A greater use and better integration of LCA in the design process contributes to evidence-based life cycle sustainability of our built environment.

Life Cycle Assessment




Environmental product declaration

Construction industry

Civil engineering works





Floriane Pagnon

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering

Alexandre Mathern

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Kristine Ek

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science

17551307 (ISSN) 17551315 (eISSN)

Vol. 588 4 042051

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

Sustainable design and production planning

VINNOVA (2017-03312), 2017-11-01 -- 2020-02-29.

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

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

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

Swedish Transport Administration (2018/68419), 2018-07-01 -- 2020-06-30.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Infrastructure Engineering

Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology

Environmental Sciences



More information

Latest update

4/5/2022 6