A-15 Installation of the product into the building – screening and simplified LCA


A-15 Installation of the product into the building – screening and simplified LCA

The installation of products into the building needs ancillary materials and processes (e.g. energy). What should be taken into account during the installation stage (e.g. drills, screwdrivers)?

Related study objective

stand-alone LCA comparative assertion

Related study phase

goal and scope definition inventory analysis (LCI) impact assessment (LCIA) interpretation reporting

Relevant for

new buildings existing buildings building products screening LCA simplified LCA complete LCA
Provisions The inclusion of ancillary materials should follow EN 15804/EN 15978. This information should be available in construction product datasets or EPD data that are compliant with EN 15804.The energy and related emissions from the construction tools and installation materials should follow EN 15978. They may be omitted for screening and simplified LCA studies, owing to their minor relevance.
Rules from:
EN 15978: 8.5 Scenarios for the construction process stage (Modules A4-A5)EN 15804:

6.2.3. A4–A5, Construction process stage, information modules

7.3.2. Construction process stage

General guidance for product LCA studies (e.g. EPD)
According to both EN 15804 and EN 15978, the installation of products into the building, including ancillary materials and their related processes, should be taken into account. The practitioner should comply with EN 15804 as far as possible, assuming the provisions are sufficiently clear. If an aspect is not clearly defined in the standard (e.g. there is so far no list of ancillary materials for the different applications of building products), the practitioner should always document assumptions made concerning the inclusion of ancillary materials.

Specific guidance for product LCA studies (e.g. EPD)
For cradle-to-grave product LCA, the practitioner needs to combine a cradle-to-gate LCA with some LCA data for ancillary materials implemented in the construction stage in order to fulfil the functional unit. For example, for cradle-to-grave EPD of a glued laminated timber beam in a building, the functional unit can be as follows: the function ‘support the structural elements from the roof for 100 years’ is defined for 1 ml of a beam of 5 m for a cross-section of 0.3 × 0.1 m. The ancillary materials in this case might be galvanized steel bolts, for example. The impacts related to their manufacture and transport to the site should be allocated to Module A5, as they are not primary raw materials in the wooden beam manufacturing process.

However, in other cases, e.g. ready-mixed concrete assembled on site with reinforcing steel, as these two raw materials are not ancillary materials the impacts of their manufacture and transport to the site should be allocated to Modules A3 and A4 respectively.

For other specific cases it may be tricky. For example, for ceramic tiles that need on-site mortar to be installed in the building, the allocation of the impacts of the mortar may be not clear, as it depends on the status of the mortar: is it a raw material next to the ceramic tiles (impact allocated to Modules A1–A3) or only an ancillary product (impact allocated only to Module A5)?

The more the environmental impacts of ancillary materials (related to manufacturing and transport to the site) are allocated to Module A5, the more relative impact this life cycle stage will have compared with production and end-of-life. It should be emphasized that the ancillary materials’ upstream impacts are not direct impact of a construction site.

In this context, the results for Module A5 should be interpreted accordingly.

Specific guidance for building LCA studies

If relevant for the goal of the study, use ratios (generic data) for screening and simplified LCA, though the ancillary materials may be omitted, because of their minor relevance.

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