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