Title: Land use impact assessment in the construction sector: an analysis of LCIA models and case study application
Citation: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT vol. 19 no. 11 p. 1799-1809
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC89246
ISSN: 0948-3349
URI: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11367-014-0781-7
DOI: 10.1007/s11367-014-0781-7
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Purpose: Land use is a potentially important impact category in LCA studies of buildings. Three research questions are addressed in this paper: (1) Is land use a decisive factor in the environmental impact of buildings?; (2) Is it important to include the primary land use of buildings in the assessment?; and (3) How does the environmental performance of solid structure and timber frame dwellings compare when assessed using different available models for quantifying land use impacts? Methods: This paper compares several operational land use impact assessment models, which are subsequently implemented in an LCA case study comparing a building constructed using timber frame versus a solid structure. Different models were used for the different research questions. Results: The results reveal that different decisions may be supported by LCA study results, depending on whether or not and how land use is included in the assessment. The analysis also highlights the need to include the footprint of the building in the assessment and to better distinguish building locations in current land use impact assessment models. Conclusions: Selecting land use assessment methods that are most appropriate to the goals of the study is recommended as different models assess different environmental issues related to land use. In general, the combination of two land use assessment methods for buildings is recommended, i.e. soil organic matter (SOM) of Milà i Canals and Eco-indicator 99.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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