Life cycle based dynamic assessment coupled with multiple criteria decision analysis: A case study of determining an optimal building insulation level

Joshua Sohn, Pradip Kalbar, Morten Birkved

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This work looks at coupling Life cycle assessment (LCA) with a dynamic inventory and multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) to improve the validity and reliability of single score results for complex systems. This is done using the case study of a representative Danish single family home over the service life of the building. This case study uses both the established and the coupled MCDA assessment methods to quantify and assess the balance of impacts between the production of mineral wool insulation versus the production of space heat. The use of TOPSIS method for calculating single scores is proposed as an alternative to the ReCiPe single score impact assessment method. Based on the single score impact values obtained from both of these methods, various insulation levels are ranked to determine an ideal insulation level and gauge the effectiveness of environmental impact reduction measures in current Danish building regulations. Using a comparison of the results from the two methods, a preferred choice of impact assessment method is determined. The findings show that if the midpoint impacts for a particular scenario are strongly correlated with a climate change impact indicator, it does not matter which impact assessment is applied. However, for the scenarios where other impact categories vary inversely or independently from the climate change impact indicator, such as with renewable energy production, there is need for a more unconventional method, such as the TOPSIS method, for calculating single score impacts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume162
Pages (from-to)449-457
ISSN0959-6526
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Life cycle assessment
  • Building material
  • Mineral wool insulation
  • Multiple criteria decision making

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