As this guidance is intended to be used both within EeB research projects and by building LCA tool developers, to increase confidence in LCA for decision support and to increase reliability in LCA results, practitioners are able to claim compliance with the EeBGuide only if several prerequisites are met:
- Compliance with the individual provisions given for the relevant aspects.
- Documentation of the LCA study by using the reporting template provided.
- Review according to the EeBGuide review requirements.
Any study that claims compliance with this guidance requires an independent review. A review in this context is the evaluation of an LCA study by experts who are independent in the sense that they did not take part in the study. A review serves to ensure the quality of a study and thus increase confidence in its results, and in its usefulness as a decision support tool. Specifically, the review is used to ensure that the rules of this guidance are followed, and that the consequences (choices of parameter values, etc.) are reasonable from a technical perspective. For a pragmatic approach to conducting a review, review schemes in the form of checklists are provided within this guidance. These review schemes also contain the distinction between screening, simplified and complete LCA studies.
Critical reviews of LCA studies are defined and required in ISO 14040/14044 for comparative assertions that are intended to be disseminated to the public. Within the context of this guidance, any comparative assertion requires a critical review according to the requirements of ISO 14044. The, major requirements are that:
- The critical review is conducted by a review panel of a minimum of three independent experts.
- The panel chair must be an LCA expert with previous experience in critical review.
- The panel must contain a minimum of one technical expert from the field of the assessed product system and a minimum of one LCA expert.
- The panel must contain an expert on the impact categories relevant to the product system under study.
- The review report is attached to the study report.
For LCA studies within a European research project the review mught be done by one member of the consortium (especially if contractual constraints do not permit the commissioning of an external expert to do the review), but they should not be directly involved in the preparation of the study. The ILCD Handbook also defines requirements for reviewers, especially related to their independence, qualification and experience.
More specifically, for LCA studies that claim to comply with this EeBGuide, reviewers need to:
- Have expertise in LCA methodology, and specifically be familiar with the rules of the EeBGuide
- Have knowledge of the applicable review rules, and specifically be familiar with the EeBGuide review schemes
- Have review or verification experience
- Have expertise in the product or process in question, and specifically experience in the respective building type or product category
If, for particular reasons, the review process requires greater focus, or is used to improve the reliability of the study results in the context of public or external dissemination, it is recommended that practitioners consult the ILCD Handbook for additional information, in the sections Review schemes for life cycle assessment (LCA) and Reviewer qualification for life cycle inventory datasets.
3 How to use this guidance document
- 3.1 Structure of the guidance document
- 3.2 How to conduct an LCA study within the field of energy-efficient buildings
- 3.3 Compliance with this guidance.
- 3.4 How to proceed with the service life assessment in building and product LCA studies
- 3.5 Further information and training materials