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Towards a reduced set of indicators in buildings LCA applications: a statistical based method



Author(s): S. Lasvaux, P. Garat, J. Chevalier, B. Peuportier
Paper category: symposium
Book title: International Symposium on Life Cycle Assessment and Construction – Civil engineering and buildings
Editor(s): A. Ventura and C. de la Roche
Print ISBN: 978-2-35158-127-8
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-128-5
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Pages: 65 – 72 (+ 4 pages of appendixes)
Total Pages: 13
Language: English


Abstract: Several Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools for buildings have been developed over the past few years. Recent reviews show that most of the tools use between 8 and 16 Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) and Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) based indicators. This high number of indicators is often seen as a problematic issue for decision makers. In this paper, we propose a statistical methodology to solve the problem of identifying a simplified but relevant set of environmental indicators. It is based on a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) applied on a French LCI/LCIA database of building materials and products. Results show that only 4 dimensions can be sufficient to explain 86 % of the variance (also called inertia) for an original set of 13 indicators. Rotation techniques such as varimax proved to be quite powerful to extract relevant environmental components. In a subsequent building case study, the weightings of the functional units of the different materials and products also confirm the conclusions drawn at the database scale.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), indicators, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), buildings, decision making


Online publication: 2012
Publication Type: full_text
Public price (Euros): 0.00