Changement climatique - Recherche française (avec laboratoires CNRS) - 2010-2015


Methodological challenges and developments in LCA of low energy buildings: Application to biogenic carbon and global warming assessment

Publication Year


  • Fouquet, Marine
  • Levasseur, Annie
  • Margni, Manuele
  • Lebert, Alexandra
  • Lasvaux, Sebastien
  • Souyri, Bernard
  • Buhe, Catherine
  • Woloszyn, Monika
BUILDING AND ENVIRONMENT Volume: 90 Pages: 51-59 Published: 2015
0360-1323 eISSN: 1873-684X

In Europe, low energy buildings become common for new constructions and life cycle assessment (LCA) is increasingly used to assess their environmental performance. The overall objective of this study is to investigate known challenges related to buildings LCA such as biogenic carbon accounting and dynamic and prospective aspects, and to discuss how they affect LCA results for low energy buildings and what developments are still needed. Three single family houses built respectively with timber frame, concrete blocks cavity wall, and cast concrete are used as a case study, focusing on the global warming impact category. When biogenic carbon is addressed, the timber house is the less impacting choice, whether it is landfilled or burned at the end-of-life. The cavity wall house is the second most favourable option, and the cast concrete house is the worst one. In the case of landfilling for the timber house, the biogenic carbon balance is not neutral and worth to be considered. When a dynamic approach and specific prospective scenarios are considered, the ranking between houses stays the same, but the gaps between options vary e.g. the gap between the landfilled timber house and the cast concrete house vary from 40 % to 60 % when optimistic changes in the electricity mix are considered. Dynamic LCA allows for a more consistent analysis of emissions flows and global warming impacts over time. Prospective LCA could provide more relevant LCA results but increases uncertainty and could be used as sensitivity analysis for long life span buildings. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author Keyword(s)
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Building
  • Biogenic carbon
  • Dynamic
  • Prospective
KeyWord(s) Plus
  • TIME
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Engineering
  • Environment/Ecology
  • Materials Science
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Construction & Building Technology
  • Engineering, Environmental
  • Engineering, Civil

[Fouquet, Marine; Lebert, Alexandra; Lasvaux, Sebastien] Univ Paris East, Sci & Tech Ctr Bldg CSTB, Environm & Life Cycle Engn Div, F-38400 St Martin Dheres, France; [Fouquet, Marine; Souyri, Bernard; Buhe, Catherine; Woloszyn, Monika] Savoie Technolac, Polytech Annecy Chambery, LOCIE, F-73376 Le Bourget Du Lac, France; [Levasseur, Annie; Margni, Manuele] Polytech Montreal, Dept Chem Engn, CIRAIG, Montreal, PQ H3C 3A7, Canada; [Levasseur, Annie; Margni, Manuele] Polytech Montreal, Dept Math & Ind Engn, Montreal, PQ H3C 3A7, Canada

Reprint Adress

Fouquet, M (reprint author), 24 Rue Joseph Fourier, F-38400 St Martin Dheres, France.

  • Canada
  • France
CNRS - Adress(es)
  • Laboratoire optimisation de la conception et ingénierie de l'environnement (LOCIE), UMR5271
Accession Number
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