The construction sector plays an important role in moving towards a low-carbon economy. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is considered one of the most effective methods of analytically evaluating environmental profiles and an efficient tool for calculating the environmental impacts in building design-oriented methodologies, such as building information modelling (BIM). At early design stages, generic LCA databases are used to conduct the life cycle inventory (LCI), while detailed stages require more detailed data, such as environmental product declarations (EPDs), namely documents that provide accurate results and precise analyses based on LCA. Limitations are recognized when using EPDs in BIM elements at different levels of development (LOD) in the design stages, especially related to the data consistency and system boundaries of the LCA. This paper presents a method of achieving accurate LCA results, that helps with decision-making and provides support in the selection of building products and materials. The method is validated by its application in the structural concrete of an office building located in Germany. The method defines a safety factor adopted for embodied impacts ("cradle-to-gate"), based on EPD results to predict the environmental impact of BIM elements at different LODs. The results obtained show that by integrating the method to conduct the LCA, the range of errors and possible inconsistencies in the LCA results can be reduced.

(2020). How to obtain accurate environmental impacts at early design stages in BIM when using environmental product declaration. A method to support decision-making [journal article - articolo]. In SUSTAINABILITY. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/211689

How to obtain accurate environmental impacts at early design stages in BIM when using environmental product declaration. A method to support decision-making

Palumbo, Elisabetta;
2020-01-01

Abstract

The construction sector plays an important role in moving towards a low-carbon economy. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is considered one of the most effective methods of analytically evaluating environmental profiles and an efficient tool for calculating the environmental impacts in building design-oriented methodologies, such as building information modelling (BIM). At early design stages, generic LCA databases are used to conduct the life cycle inventory (LCI), while detailed stages require more detailed data, such as environmental product declarations (EPDs), namely documents that provide accurate results and precise analyses based on LCA. Limitations are recognized when using EPDs in BIM elements at different levels of development (LOD) in the design stages, especially related to the data consistency and system boundaries of the LCA. This paper presents a method of achieving accurate LCA results, that helps with decision-making and provides support in the selection of building products and materials. The method is validated by its application in the structural concrete of an office building located in Germany. The method defines a safety factor adopted for embodied impacts ("cradle-to-gate"), based on EPD results to predict the environmental impact of BIM elements at different LODs. The results obtained show that by integrating the method to conduct the LCA, the range of errors and possible inconsistencies in the LCA results can be reduced.
articolo
2020
Palumbo, Elisabetta; Soust-Verdaguer, Bernadette; Llatas, Carmen; Traverso, Marzia
(2020). How to obtain accurate environmental impacts at early design stages in BIM when using environmental product declaration. A method to support decision-making [journal article - articolo]. In SUSTAINABILITY. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/211689
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