Implementation of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in the Procurement Process of Buildings: A Systematic Literature Review

Marco Scherz, Antonija Ana Wieser, Alexander Passer, Helmuth Kreiner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The construction industry adds a high share to global CO2 emissions and, thus, to the global climate crisis. Future buildings need to be planned, constructed, operated, and deconstructed in a lifecycle-oriented manner so that the building stock represents a capital asset for future generations. The greatest leverages for reducing a building’s CO2 emissions lie in the early project phase and subsequently in the tendering and awarding process, which makes early Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) indispensable. In this study, we set a sociological research framework consisting of (i) choosing a research topic, (ii) conducting a literature review, (iii) measuring variables and gathering data, (iv) analyzing data, and (v) drawing a conclusion. Since there are countless studies that apply LCA in the construction sector for environmental assessment, emission reduction, or decision support, we posed the question of whether LCA was also applied in the public building tendering and awarding process. Furthermore, we focused on identifying obstacles to LCA implementation in this early project phase. Therefore, we applied the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and conducted a Systematic Literature Review (SLR). The results show that numerous articles focused on sustainable tendering or green public procurement in the construction industry; however, the LCA method is scarcely used in the procurement processes (19 articles in the final sample). Based on our findings, the main obstacles to LCA implementation in the procurement process are highlighted in the study. In the future, the mandatory integration of LCA into the procurement process will be crucial to reduce the CO2 emissions generated by the construction industry and thus contribute to the EU climate target plan to ensure carbon neutrality by 2050.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16967
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • awarding
  • buildings
  • life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • obstacles detection
  • public procurement
  • sustainability assessment
  • sustainable construction
  • tendering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems


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