Influence of service life on Life Cycle Assessments

H. van Nunen, N.A. Hendriks, P.A. Erkelens

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Environmental assessment is part of present decision making. But, because of difficulties the assessments are not as profound as could be. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a cradle-to-grave approach and consequently a time factor is embedded. Until now this time factor is fixed and calculations are based on index figures. One of these index figures is the service life of a product. The accuracy of this service life can be questioned. The service life is influenced by many aspects. Three of these aspects also have an influence on the environmental burden: premature replacement, sequential use and subdivision of environmental burden. These aspects lead to a service life different from the index figures and as a result the environmental burden of the building (or component) will differ as well. Aim of this article is to indicate the value of knowledge about service life. Only with a valid service life further assessments are useful and profound environmental assessments can be carried out.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2nd International symposium Integrated life-time engineering of buildings and civil infrastructures, Kuopio, Finland
Place of PublicationRotterdam, Netherlands
PublisherIn-house publishing
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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