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Development of an european LCA rating methodology for OPEN HOUSE

: Gantner, Johannes; Lenz, Katrin; Jäger, Michael; Sedlbauer, Klaus

Hauser, Gerd (Ed.); Lützkendorf, Thomas (Ed.); Essig, Natalie (Ed.) ; TU München; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology -KIT-; Fraunhofer-Institut für Bauphysik -IBP-, Stuttgart:
Implementing sustainability - barriers and chances. Book of full papers : April 24 - 26, 2013; SB 13 Munich
Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2013
ISBN: 978-3-8167-8982-6 (E-Book)
Sustainable Building Conference (SB) <2013, Munich>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IBP ()

Currently, there is no common methodology for a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) rating within a common sustainability scheme of buildings in an European context. Due to different local conditions like weather, legal frameworks or energy demand calculation methodologies, comparisons between different buildings in different countries are so far not yet possible. Increasing need for a transparent sustainability classification method of buildings on an European level induced the European Commission to fund the project "OPEN HOUSE". During the last three years research, such a transparent and common European building assessment methodology was created and implemented based on existing building certification schemes. LCA is one important means of this "OPEN HOUSE" assessment.
Due to the mentioned different local circumstances in every country, especially with regard to the different national EPBD methodologies and building regulations, a classification of buildings within different national contexts is a pre-requisite not only for an environmental but a consistent building assessment. Therewith, the "OPEN HOUSE LCA methodology" developed, enables comparisons of European buildings on the basis of national ratings (e.g. with benchmarks of existing building certification schemes). The methodology was tested by 76 case studies all over Europe including countries like France, Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, Greek, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Italy. These case studies helped to spot the main differences between the countries and the most important parameters for building LCA. Special focus was paid to the development of national benchmarks for the construction and use phase for both a "quick and basic assessment" as well as a "complete assessment". In order to understand the relevance of certain constructional elements and building materials, sensitivity analysis was performed to verify the necessity of inclusion or exclusion of these elements.
Summarizing, a LCA methodology was created that serves for comparisons and ratings of different buildings within different local contexts.