Life cycle assessment as a research methodology for estimating the environmental impacts of buildings

Rahman Azari, Negar Badri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The growing concerns about the embodied environmental impacts of buildings have led to the increased application of life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology in the built environment research. The present chapter first compiles and presents an overview of the environmental flows of the U.S. building stock in several categories including operational energy use and carbon emissions, embodied energy and carbon, consumption of materials (such as cement, steel, timber, and copper), and generation of construction and demolition solid waste, and highlights the knowledge gaps to be bridged. It then provides an overview of life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology in architectural research, followed by an example of its application by the authors. The chapter then demonstrates the application of optimization and data-driven techniques in building LCA research. It also presents some of the challenges in the LCA research including result uncertainty. Finally, a standard reporting framework is proposed to fill the gap in the literature and practice regarding inconsistent and insufficient reporting of LCA methodological assumptions and results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch Methods in Building Science and Technology
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783030736927
ISBN (Print)9783030736910
StatePublished - Sep 9 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

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