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Life-Cycle Assessment and the Environmental Impact of Buildings: A Review

Author

Listed:
  • Mohamad Monkiz Khasreen

    () (Heriot Watt University, School of the Built Environment, WA 4.02. EH14 4AS, Edinburgh, UK)

  • Phillip F. G. Banfill

    () (Heriot Watt University, School of the Built Environment, EC 1.31. EH14 4AS, Edinburgh, UK)

  • Gillian F. Menzies

    () (Heriot Watt University, School of the Built Environment, EC 2.29. EH14 4AS, Edinburgh, UK)

Abstract

Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one of various management tools for evaluating environmental concerns. This paper reviews LCA from a buildings perspective. It highlights the need for its use within the building sector, and the importance of LCA as a decision making support tool. It discusses LCA methodologies and applications within the building sector, reviewing some of the life-cycle studies applied to buildings or building materials and component combinations within the last fifteen years in Europe and the United States. It highlights the problems of a lack of an internationally comparable and agreed data inventory and assessment methodology which hinder the application of LCA within the building industry. It identifies key areas for future research as (i) the whole process of construction, (ii) the relative weighting of different environmental impacts and (iii) applications in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Mohamad Monkiz Khasreen & Phillip F. G. Banfill & Gillian F. Menzies, 2009. "Life-Cycle Assessment and the Environmental Impact of Buildings: A Review," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(3), pages 1-28, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:1:y:2009:i:3:p:674-701:d:5786
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Exel, Job van & Graaf, Gjalt de & Brouwer, Werner, 2007. "Care for a break? An investigation of informal caregivers' attitudes toward respite care using Q-methodology," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 83(2-3), pages 332-342, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    life-cycle assessment; buildings; environment; sustainability;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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