Learnings from Developing a Context-Specific LCA Tool for Buildings—The Case of LCAbyg 4

Kai Kanafani*, Regitze Kjær Zimmermann, Freja Nygaard Rasmussen, Harpa Birgisdóttir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


Buildings are a major cause of global resource consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other impacts on the environment, originating from both operational energy and material use. Informed design decisions can help mitigate potential impacts on the environment, by the use of life cycle assessment (LCA) in the early project stages. In order to mitigate building environment impacts throughout the industry, architects and engineers need tools that are integrated in the design workflow and based on the information available. Existing LCA tools for building design professionals are predominantly embedded in a specific context such as a country or a sustainability scheme. This paper provides learnings for the development of context-tailored tools for building-LCA using the case of Denmark, with specific focus on GHG-emissions that are in focus worldwide. Based on stakeholder involvement, four key areas were defined: Default information, flexibility, environmental design feedback and transparent results. Tool functions include a component library and a quantity estimator for bridging incomplete building information. A comparison monitor displays the performance of design solutions selected in the model, while a number of graphs and tables provide analysis of inventory and results. Finally, a customisable model data export, a complete input/output file for revision and custom analysis are among key functions for transparency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1508
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Design tool
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Greenhouse Gas emissions
  • Integrated design process
  • LCA
  • LCA tool
  • Life cycle assessment


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