Reference Study Period: Buildings.

Following a simplified understanding of a building’s life cycle, the reference study period can be seen as the timespan of use, i.e. the duration of services within Module B. Hence the reference study period has a significant impact on the use stage’s contribution to the life cycle impacts. This means that the reference study period influences the relation of impacts from the different life cycle stages, and thus may cause different conclusions to be drawn regarding the importance of a life cycle stage.

The following table provides definitions for reference study periods from various sources. These definitions are not based on scientifically proved lifetimes, but usually reflect a consensus, e.g. within one country.

Source Value Comments
Germany: building certification (DGNB) 50 years Default reference study period for all building types except for industrial buildings
Germany: building certification (DGNB) 20 years Reference study period for industrial buildings
Germany: building assessment (federal government) 30 years, 80 years Alternative values for scenario analyses
France 50 years, 100 years Commonly used reference study periods; no general definition available


Other default values


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