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How to use LCA to assess materials as eco-design parameters in construction projects?

Author(s): A. Ventura, R. Idir, S. Marceau, L. van Schoors, Andrianandraina, H. van der Werf
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: 89 – 96 (+ 11 pages of appendixes)
Total Pages: 19
Language: English

Abstract: Eco-design aims at improving the production process of a single product and eco-design practitioners often consider environmental performances of a product as a part of its initial functionalities. Only the use of LCA can quantify environmental performances. Because of its comparative nature, using LCA for eco-design requires comparing a new solution to an existing one. In the construction sector, materials are often considered as an eco-design variant. The use of a construction material is undeniably linked to its intrinsic properties but the link between these properties and its functions is not always obvious because several physical scales are nested (materials, in construction elements, in constructed objects). Using LCA in that frame means to compare various materials on the basis of identical fulfilled functions. The purpose of this article is to suggest a generic approach for using LCA to eco-design materials for construction. This approach takes into account the multi-functionality of materials, the “nested scales” of products, and the lack of knowledge at the early stages of design. The proposed approach might be the most convenient accompanying approach that should occur all along the design process from the material to the constructed object.

Keywords: bio-sourced materials

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

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