The challenge of integrating Life Cycle Assessment in the building design process - A systematic literature review of BIM-LCA workflows

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


To foster sustainable development in construction sectors, environmental impacts need to be reduced dramatically. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) technique is the most firmly established methodology used to quantify these environmental impacts and, therefore, has been applied with increasing frequency to assess the environmental performance of buildings. To effectively improve a building’s environmental performance, an integration of LCA in the design process is required. This can be achieved by coupling LCA with digital design tools, e.g., Building Information Modelling (BIM). To identify the pro and cons of streamlining the integration of LCA and BIM, a comprehensive Systematic Literature Review (SLR) was performed. We identified more than 50 relevant BIM-LCA case studies and analyzed the applied BIM-LCA workflows in detail. In most of the studies reviewed, the LCA has been applied in an early design stage. The authors primarily used LCA tools and manual or semi-automatic methods to exchange data between BIM models. In most cases, contemporary BIM-LCA workflows utilized conventional spreadsheets (e.g., Excel worksheets). However, the results of the analysis show that an automated link between LCA and BIM can be achieved if certain challenges are overcome. By automating exchange of information between BIM and LCA tools and improving the reliability of this process, the LCA application can be streamlined in design practice and, hence, the necessary improvements of the environmental performance of buildings can be supported.
Original languageEnglish
Article number032024
Number of pages1
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2020
EventWorld Sustainable Built Environment - Beyond 2020: WSBE 2020 - Gothenburg (Virtuell), Sweden
Duration: 2 Nov 20204 Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems


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