Life cycle sustainability assessment

A life cycle thinking (LCT) approach is central to evaluate the sustainability of products throughout their entire life cycle. Current methods are generally not designed for evaluating recycling or reuse. The development of new methods addresses the knowledge gaps related to that focus in existing literature is dominated by a linear approach, one dimension of sustainability (the environmental dimension), and the use of few indicators (mainly greenhouse gas emissions).

The aim is to develop an analytical and procedural method for life cycle sustainability assessment of construction products intended for reuse. The new LCT method goes beyond current methods by using environmental LCA, social LCA (SLCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) to include all three pillars of sustainability. The new method is developed by evaluating the environmental and social benefits and cost savings of different reuse strategies and solutions. Also, the method enables users to evaluate how and to what extent solutions contribute to meeting national and international goals.

The research question that will be addressed here is "How can a novel evaluation method be developed to assess the sustainability of different reuse strategies and solutions that meet the needs and requirements of users?"

Main tasks 

  • Data collection for current and alternative system
  • Development of an integrated model for life cycle sustainability assessment
  • Development of a communication scheme based on the requirements of the key stakeholders and their requirements

Deliverable

  • Scientific paper on methodological framework for life cycle sustainability assessment for reuse of construction products, addressing cost, environmental and social aspects