In order to assess the integrated performance of buildings it is necessary to regard a building as a whole with required performance and functions to fulfil. The client sets the performance requirements for the building in terms of building performance and functionality, usually on the basis of technical performance. Consequently, during its life cycle, from raw material supply of building products to the final disposal of building components, a building has environmental and economic impacts as well as impacts on the health & comfort of the users. To get an overall picture on the integrated performance of a building, these impacts must be analyzed with the building as an object of the assessment of environmental performance, economic performance and health & comfort performance of building.
Precise evaluation tools are essential for the uptake of new or improved technologies for the built environment. Tools like LCA (Life cycle assessment) allow a quantification of the life-cycle environmental impact associated to the use of multiple, natural and non-renewable resources (water, primary raw materials, energy, land) and the generation of waste, showing the environmental benefit of appropriate technologies. Potential impacts on human health are also addressed.
LoRe-LCA aims to coordinate research activities regarding the application of LCA in the European construction sector. The technical work will focus on comparing and improving the functional units used for LCA for the whole building, improving the possibilities to compare assessment results for different alternatives during design stage, and for comparison of assessment results for different buildings.