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Life Cycle Assessment of Infrastructures - Buildings

Life Cycle Assessment of Infrastructures - Buildings


The Chair of Sustainable Construction at ETH Zurich is conducting a major research study on how comparative Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) of residential buildings may be simplified in the future.

The study is conducted in cooperation with the Swiss Zentralstelle für Baurationalisierung CRB as well as with Holcim Group Support and aims at an environmental and economic analysis of about 100 Swiss apartment buildings (new buildings as of 2006). Therefore, the ETH Zurick is looking for interested architects and planners who would like to contribute to this study by means of participating in the gathering of building data.

Starting point for the study is the fact that it is currently impossible to conduct simple and yet reliable comparative LCA studies on dwellings. So far there is no reliable empirical basis to identify those building parameters which are most influential in terms of the environmental impact of a residential building over its entire life cycle (from construction through to building use/operation to deconstruction).

Therefore, the aim of this study is to identify those building parameters (e.g. construction materials and components, heating energy etc.) which are of particular relevance in relation to the environmental impact of a residential building and which are thus essential for a simplified comparative life cycle assessment. As basis for the ecological considerations serves an energy and material flow accounting. For this purpose, information about the materials and components used for building construction is surveyed as well as the amount of energy that is necessary for building operation. In addition, an economic life cycle costing (LCC) analysis of the buildings is to be conducted. For this purpose, data on construction costs of the buildings has to be collected.

To ensure the representativeness of the results of this study, detailed building data of high quality is needed. The data collection is carried out via an online-userform which is available on ETH’s website and which shall be completed independently by the respective architect / planner.

Benefits for contributors:

  • Mention of your planning office in the list of contributors to our study on the ETH project website as well as in further presentations associated with the study.
  • Possibility of presenting your planning office and your building projects on the Internet Platform CRB-connect.
  • Information about the classification of your apartment building(s) obtained in the study (in relation to environmental parameters)
  • If submitting two or more building projects for our study, that meet our evaluation requirements, you will also receive two working instruments for free, worth 286 CHF in total:
    - Norm SN 506 511 Baukostenplan Hochbau eBKP-H (worth: 130 CHF).
    - Anwenderhandbuch zu Baukostenplan Hochbau eBKP-H (worth: 156 CHF).

Life Cycle Assessment of Infrastructures - Buildings registration

For questions regarding the study please contact Ms. Dipl.-Ing. Arch. Viola John.

Registration form for the LCA Buildings (zip file)

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