Purpose The paper is aimed to front the problem of energy and environmental saving in building companies by adopting Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool. LCA allows to define the environmental compliance of a given product or process through the analysis of its whole life cycle. In this sense LCA offers the possibility to include the mining and manufacturing of raw materials, production, transportation and distribution activities, use, possible reuse and final disposal of wastes. Building industry is actually recognized as a strong energy consumption sector with continuously rising of consumptions, where corrective actions must be adopted to enhance the environmental sustainability of final products. By assuming LCA as a suitable tool to optimize energy and environmental performances, four different thermal insulators and three case studies represented by buildings with several technological solutions have been analyzed through this tool to evaluate the environmental impacts coming from realization, use and disposal phases. Design/methodology/approach The present work adopts Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), to evaluate and improve environmental sustainability. It provides a focused on practice method to evaluate the environmental impact of the whole life cycle to assess resource consumptions due to production, use and disposal of a generic product or system. After assessing LCA methodology and relative steps, a first comparison analysis of four different typologies of thermal insulators in building industries is performed to evaluate the environmental impacts during construction, use and disposal phases. Such analysis has been extended from components to buildings for verifying the impacts of three different buildings realized in accordance to different norms in the field of energy savings. LCA has represented an appropriate method to define the technological pack minimizing environmental impact acting from design phase. Originality/value LCA to four natural and artificial building components allowed to state that natural ones not always have the lower environmental impact due to issues related to the whole impact of their life cycle. On the same line, three models of building made of different construction components have been assessed by LCA showing how the use period is the most consuming in terms of natural resources if compared to realization and disposal phases. On the basis of these outcomes, the work is intended to reflect upon the importance of effective interventions toward energy and environmental saving during the use period, stressing the importance of environmental sustainability in such critical and resource consuming sector. Real cases are supported by objective values represented by construction costs and the overall impact on resources during the entire building life cycle.
|Titolo:||Life cycle assessment in building activities: A comparison analysis|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|