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About this book

This book proposes an economic and environmental assessment tool to help private and public building designers and owners determine the global sustainability value of green buildings from a life cycle perspective. As it demonstrates, sustainable life cycle tools for building design and construction can help to achieve successfully integrated architecture. The first part of the book defines the relationship between environmental and economic aspects in a sustainable design approach and illustrates how life cycle methodologies, including Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing, can be applied to life cycle design. Further, it highlights methods for calculating costs from LCA data, taking into consideration both discounted cash flow and external costs. In turn, the second part of the book presents an experimental design model, the Life Cycle Design Model (LCDM), which is based on a life cycle design approach that can be used to produce two different outcomes based on two assessment levels. The first assessment level involves creating a grid, called a Design Matrix, which is useful in the design process. The second assessment level involves drawing on LCA and LCC results to develop a user-friendly tool for designers and other actors involved in the building process so that they can assess the most sustainable design option using €CO, a factor that combines the environmental and energy effects of the building system with time and costs. Selected case studies illustrate the practical application of life cycle analysis and show how reflecting the environmental impacts and costs can improve the sustainability of buildings. The LCDM represents a transdisciplinary tool for the design team and, at the same time, allows information on users’ needs and building performance to be communicated between experts and non-experts.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Life Cycle and Sustainability: Concepts and Keywords

Abstract
This chapter focuses on the link between the life cycle design approach and the concept of “sustainability”. By reviewing specific keywords it will define the principle of sustainable life cycle design. Starting with this concept the chapter will investigate the state of the art and the role in the design process of regulations, laws, environmental protocols, integrated design tools and software, and the assessment of sustainability in construction. It takes into account both the international scenario and its application in Italy.
Francesca Thiébat

Chapter 2. The Environment and Economics

Abstract
This chapter outlines the relationship between environmental and economic aspects by briefly describing the main concepts. All the topics presented here represent a framework that can be explored more in-depth using the references provided. They will help the reader find the fil rouge of a sustainable approach linking economics and environmental architecture.
Francesca Thiébat

Chapter 3. Life Cycle Methodologies

Abstract
This chapter introduces two methodologies based on the life cycle concept: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC). LCA and LCC are briefly described in order to provide the reader with an overview of the procedures and a complete bibliographic framework.
The first two sub-chapters focus on the origins, standards, studies, references and methods used to calculate the life cycle approach to buildings. Part three combines LCA and LCC in order to define a common framework that can be used to develop the Life Cycle Model described in Chap. 4. It includes an outline of ongoing projects based on the combination of the two methods.
The decision to present these evaluation techniques focusing on the building analysis illustrated early on in the book was inspired by the need to establish the cultural and scientific background for the experimental part of the monograph in Part II.
Francesca Thiébat

Chapter 4. Defining an Innovative Design Method Based on the Life Cycle Approach

Abstract
This chapter will illustrate an experimental design model that can be used to produce two different outcomes based on two levels of assessments. This tool is called the Life Cycle Design Model (LCDM).
Francesca Thiébat

Chapter 5. Case Studies

Abstract
This chapter will present three case studies illustrating the proposed tool. Two of these examples show how the method can be applied during the early design stage (primarily regarding selection of building elements or components), while one case study demonstrates how the method can be applied during the detailed design stages to assess the entire life cycle performance of the building.
Francesca Thiébat

Chapter 6. Conclusions and Outlook

Abstract
The final chapter starts with a short summary of the Life Cycle Design Model and then goes on to illustrate the strong points of the method as well as the main obstacles in its path. It also examines the future potential of applying a life cycle approach to design practice and research.
Francesca Thiébat
Additional information