Life cycle assessment of building materials
We couldn't build buildings without building materials - that much is clear. But which concrete building materials should be used is hotly debated. With increasing environmental awareness and the desire for more sustainable building, the ecological balance of building materials is becoming increasingly important. Our employee Sandra got to the bottom of the topic a bit.
Life cycle assessment - what is it?
The life cycle assessment is a method for assessing the environmental impact of a product in its entire life cycle. This consists of the extraction of raw materials, the production of materials, manufacturing, use phase, recycling until the end of product life / disposal.
Make environmental decisions
The life cycle assessment can be used for environmentally-oriented decisions. But which factors influence this decision? This includes reducing energy consumption, using recyclable building materials and components, safely returning the materials used, reuse options, protecting natural spaces, and space-saving construction.
In addition to the overall environmental impact, the life cycle analysis of a building material can also examine energy efficiency or other aspects of sustainable management.
Would it make sense to only pay attention to the ecological balance of products?
No. Using a building material solely on the basis of sustainability is unsuitable, since this also affects other factors, such as Flexibility, durability, fire protection, thermal comfort. For this reason, the ecological balance as well as its technical properties are taken into account when choosing a building material.
Why aren't sustainable building materials used everywhere?
Various factors play a role here. Firstly, the costs: the procurement of sustainable building materials can be more expensive than conventional building materials at first. Short-term thinking is to blame. Sustainable building materials sometimes have a longer lifespan or are easier to replace / repair. Using products based on their life cycle assessment makes no sense, since physical factors are included (life cycle assessment of building materials part 1). However, buildings can consist of conventional as well as sustainable building materials.
You decide on the lifespan of these products. A missing alternative could, for example, be the reason why they did not choose a sustainable product and instead stayed with the conventional building material.
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