To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

A taxonomy for Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (WBLCA)

Barbara X. Rodriguez (Department of Architecture, Universidad de Chile Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Santiago, Chile) (Department of Architecture, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA)
Kathrina Simonen (Department of Architecture, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA)
Monica Huang (Department of Architecture, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA)
Catherine De Wolf (Department of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 27 March 2019

Issue publication date: 24 May 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an analysis of common parameters in existing tools that provide guidance to carry out Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (WBLCA) and proposes a new taxonomy, a catalogue of parameters, for the definition of the goal and scope (G&S) in WBLCA.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis approach is used to identify, code and analyze parameters in existing WBLCA tools. Finally, a catalogue of parameters is organized into a new taxonomy.

Findings

In total, 650 distinct parameter names related to the definition of G&S from 16 WBLCAs tools available in North America, Europe and Australia are identified. Building on the analysis of existing taxonomies, a new taxonomy of 54 parameters is proposed in order to describe the G&S of WBLCA.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis of parameters in WBLCA tools does not include Green Building Rating Systems and is only limited to tools available in English.

Practical implications

This research is crucial in life cycle assessment (LCA) method harmonization and to serve as a stepping stone to the identification and categorization of parameters that could contribute to WBLCA comparison necessary to meet current global carbon goals.

Social implications

The proposed taxonomy enables architecture, engineering and construction practitioners to contribute to current WBLCA practice.

Originality/value

A study of common parameters in existing tools contributes to identifying the type of data that is required to describe buildings and contribute to build a standardized framework for LCA reporting, which would facilitate consistency across future studies and can serve as a checklist for practitioners when conducting the G&S stage of WBLCA.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Charles Pankow Foundation (04-16), Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (04-16) and skanska USA (04-16).

Citation

Rodriguez, B.X., Simonen, K., Huang, M. and De Wolf, C. (2019), "A taxonomy for Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (WBLCA)", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 190-205. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-06-2018-0034

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited