TU.2.A || Mainstreaming Construction LCA – Based on an Open Data Network
For the EU and its Member States to achieve the climate and other environmental objectives that they have set themselves, it is necessary to transform the building sector. While the last decades have seen a focus on the so called operational energy and operational carbon, which refers to the heating and cooling etc during the use phase, it has become clear during the last couple of years how important it is to look at the full life cycle of a building. In fact, not doing so, makes it impossible to reach out climate objectives. As this sector is using about 50% of our extracted materials, and often with carbon intensive processes to manufacture the construction products, the so called embodied carbon is becoming increasingly important. Very few building projects are currently assessing and reporting on the life cycle performance or take circularity aspects into account when comparing design options. It is for many a new topic and it is considered too complex, where both methodology to guide the assessment and data are missing. It is therefore of utmost importance to provide a common language, which simplifies and guides the user, and points out the main focus areas and targets the mainstream market. This is what the new EU framework Level(s) does. It consists of a set of core indicators, which are all backed up with hands on methodologies as to how to go about when using them. The indicators can be used at three different levels in the building process, at concept stage, at design and construction stage, and after completion of project, including handover. This creates a robust foundation for policy and private instruments. At the EU level, Level(s) is gradually being included in different policy initiatives, such as sustainable finance and green public procurement. To optimize the use of this tool, reliable and comparable input data needs to be accessible. While some countries is setting up databases, accessibility at large across the EU is a problem.