Comparing life cycle assessment modelling of linear vs. circular building components

L. Eberhardt, H. Birgisdottir, M. Birkved

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Abstract

As the construction industry consumes vast amounts of natural resources and in return produces large waste quantities, interest in circular economy has emerged as the means to reduce sector specific environmental impacts meanwhile ensuring continued economic growth. Life cycle assessment is a scientifically based and ISO standardized method for assessing resource consumptions and environmental impacts of products, systems or services over its entire life cycle and has been increasingly used in the construction industry and in some recently published circular economy studies. However, circular economy brings about 'rethinking' present well established building systems as well as the future life cycle scenario of these. Hence, this also means rethinking how life cycle assessments are performed on these building systems as it is suggested by some that life cycle assessment is a linear environmental impact assessment approach that misfits the circular economy idea of multiple product life cycles. The paper at hand aims at visually demonstrating variations in life cycle environmental impacts and material flows when supplying buildings with linear components compared to prospective circular designed building components for reuse and recycling and how they are modelled in life cycle assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012039
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Volume225
Number of pages8
ISSN1755-1307
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25. Feb 2019
EventSBE 2019 Brussels - BAMB-CIRCPATH: Buildings as Material Banks - A Pathway For A Circular Future - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 5. Feb 20197. Feb 2019

Conference

ConferenceSBE 2019 Brussels - BAMB-CIRCPATH: Buildings as Material Banks - A Pathway For A Circular Future
CountryBelgium
CityBrussels
Period05/02/201907/02/2019

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life cycle
modeling
environmental impact
construction industry
environmental impact assessment
building component
economic growth
natural resource
recycling
economy
resource

Cite this

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title = "Comparing life cycle assessment modelling of linear vs. circular building components",
abstract = "As the construction industry consumes vast amounts of natural resources and in return produces large waste quantities, interest in circular economy has emerged as the means to reduce sector specific environmental impacts meanwhile ensuring continued economic growth. Life cycle assessment is a scientifically based and ISO standardized method for assessing resource consumptions and environmental impacts of products, systems or services over its entire life cycle and has been increasingly used in the construction industry and in some recently published circular economy studies. However, circular economy brings about 'rethinking' present well established building systems as well as the future life cycle scenario of these. Hence, this also means rethinking how life cycle assessments are performed on these building systems as it is suggested by some that life cycle assessment is a linear environmental impact assessment approach that misfits the circular economy idea of multiple product life cycles. The paper at hand aims at visually demonstrating variations in life cycle environmental impacts and material flows when supplying buildings with linear components compared to prospective circular designed building components for reuse and recycling and how they are modelled in life cycle assessments.",
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Comparing life cycle assessment modelling of linear vs. circular building components. / Eberhardt, L.; Birgisdottir, H.; Birkved, M.

In: IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Vol. 225, 012039, 25.02.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review

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N2 - As the construction industry consumes vast amounts of natural resources and in return produces large waste quantities, interest in circular economy has emerged as the means to reduce sector specific environmental impacts meanwhile ensuring continued economic growth. Life cycle assessment is a scientifically based and ISO standardized method for assessing resource consumptions and environmental impacts of products, systems or services over its entire life cycle and has been increasingly used in the construction industry and in some recently published circular economy studies. However, circular economy brings about 'rethinking' present well established building systems as well as the future life cycle scenario of these. Hence, this also means rethinking how life cycle assessments are performed on these building systems as it is suggested by some that life cycle assessment is a linear environmental impact assessment approach that misfits the circular economy idea of multiple product life cycles. The paper at hand aims at visually demonstrating variations in life cycle environmental impacts and material flows when supplying buildings with linear components compared to prospective circular designed building components for reuse and recycling and how they are modelled in life cycle assessments.

AB - As the construction industry consumes vast amounts of natural resources and in return produces large waste quantities, interest in circular economy has emerged as the means to reduce sector specific environmental impacts meanwhile ensuring continued economic growth. Life cycle assessment is a scientifically based and ISO standardized method for assessing resource consumptions and environmental impacts of products, systems or services over its entire life cycle and has been increasingly used in the construction industry and in some recently published circular economy studies. However, circular economy brings about 'rethinking' present well established building systems as well as the future life cycle scenario of these. Hence, this also means rethinking how life cycle assessments are performed on these building systems as it is suggested by some that life cycle assessment is a linear environmental impact assessment approach that misfits the circular economy idea of multiple product life cycles. The paper at hand aims at visually demonstrating variations in life cycle environmental impacts and material flows when supplying buildings with linear components compared to prospective circular designed building components for reuse and recycling and how they are modelled in life cycle assessments.

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