Achieving consistency in life cycle assessment practice within the European construction sector: the role of the EeBGuide InfoHub

Lasvaux, Sébastien; Gantner, Johannes; Wittstock, Bastian; Bazzana, Manuel; Schiopu, Nicoleta; Saunders, Tom; Gazulla, Cristina; Mundy, Jo Ann; Sjöström, Christer; Fullana-i-Palmer, Pere; Barrow-Williams, Tim; Braune, Anna; Anderson, Jane; Lenz, Katrin; Takacs, Zsoka; Hans, Julien and Chevalier, Jacques (2014). Achieving consistency in life cycle assessment practice within the European construction sector: the role of the EeBGuide InfoHub. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 19(11) pp. 1783–1793.



Purpose The objective of the paper is to discuss the role of a new guidance document for life cycle assessment (LCA) in the construction sector available as an online InfoHub.
Methods This InfoHub derives from the EeBGuide European project that aimed at developing a guidance document for energy-efficient building LCA studies. The InfoHub is built on reference documents such as the ISO 14040-44 standards, the EN 15804 and EN 15978 standards as well as the ILCD Handbook. The guidance document was filled with expertise and knowledge of several experts. The focus was put on providing scientifically sound, yet practical guidance.
Results The EeBGuide InfoHub is an online guidance document, setting rules for conducting LCA studies and giving instructions on how to do this. The document has a section on buildings—new and existing—and a section on construction products. It is structured according to the life cycle stages of the European standards EN 15804 and EN 15978, covering all aspects of LCA studies by applying provisions from these standards and the ILCD handbook, wherever applicable. The guidance is presented for different scopes of studies by means of three study types. For the same system boundaries, default values are proposed in early or quick assessment (screening and simplified LCA) while detailed calculation rules correspond to a complete LCA. Such approach is intended to better match the user needs in the building sector.
Conclusions and recommendations This paper can be viewed as a contribution to the ongoing efforts to improve the consistency and harmonisation in LCA studies for building products and buildings. Further contributions are now needed to improve building LCA guidance and to strengthen links between research, standardisation and implementation of LCA in the construction practice.

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