Benchmarking and target-setting for the life cycle-based environmental performance of buildings: Energy in Buildings and Communities Technology Collaboration Programme

Thomas Lutzkendorf, Maria Balouktsi, Rolf Frischknecht, Bruno Peuportier, Freja Nygaard Rasmussen, Daniel Satola, Aoife Houlihan Wiberg, Harpa Birgisdottir, David Dowdell, Antonin Lupisek, Tove Malmqvist, Tajda Obrect, Damien Trigaux

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


To support the actors involved in decisions related to assessing and eventual influencing the environmental impacts in the life cycle of buildings not only the provision of specific calculation methods, environmental data, workflows and design tools is necessary, but also the development and application of suitable benchmarks and target values. The latter is the focus of this report. The definition of ambitious environmental target values considering the full life cycle of buildings is seen as one of the most important steps in pushing the construction and real estate sector in significantly reducing its environmental impacts to stay within planetary boundaries.

Objectives and contents of the report
The purpose of this report is to provide the foundations to responsible actors for further developing their specific methods to create life cycle related benchmarks for the non-renewable primary energy demand/consumption, GHG emissions and further environmental impacts of buildings and to increase the mainstreaming of practice globally. This report covers: ‒ General principles and recommendations for the development of benchmarks and target values based on a bottom-up approach (technical and economic feasibility) and a top-down approach (science-based targets to define a safe operating space inside planetary boundaries) ‒ General principles and recommendations for the application and interpretation of benchmarks ‒ General principles and recommendations for the documentation and communication of benchmarks ‒ Recommendations for terms, definitions, system boundaries and accounting rules for buildings with an absolute zero or net zero GHG emission approach (climate neutral buildings). The specific objectives of this report are to: ‒ clarify methodological questions with respect to the development of benchmarks to aid low carbon and low environmental impacts for construction, operation and end of life. ‒ provide a consistent and transparent basis for a reporting structure for environmental benchmarks in line with international standards ‒ contribute to the interpretation and supplementation of international standards to improve their applicability and support their dissemination ‒ promote long-term and life cycle-based thinking, by encouraging the early consideration of likely future environmental impacts regarding maintenance, repair and replacement as well as of durability and adaptability of building components and the building as a whole ‒ contribute to the overall efforts of national governments and standard makers to guide construction and real estate industry on how to respond to climate change and other mega trends like depletion of natural resources
Original languageEnglish
Publishertreeze Ltd
Number of pages110
ISBN (Print) 978-3-9525709-4-4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2023


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