Integrated Life Cycle Design - Applied to concrete multi-dwelling buildings

University dissertation from Division of Building Materials, LTH, Lund University

Abstract: The objective of this work is to explore ways of enhancing the overall lifetime quality, including cost and environmental efficiency, of Swedish concrete multi-dwelling buildings. The building and its characteristics, as well as the procedures for whole life optimisation, are addressed. The methods developed are general for buildings, while the application is specific.

The fundamental characteristics (attributes) of dwelling buildings are reviewed, and a set of design criteria relating to these is compiled. Furthermore, the properties of concrete with regard to the attributes are analysed.

The concept of Integrated Life Cycle Design is applied as methodological platform. By integrated life cycle design the traditional design procedure, is supplemented by life cycle appraisal and methods to optimise the building with regard to several more or less interacting parameters.

A pilot toolbox for integrated life cycle design of residential buildings is developed and verified. This contains a set of design criteria addressing the fundamental attributes, modules for life cycle costing, energy balance calculation, structural and acoustic pre-design, environmental assessment and feed-back routines. The environmental assessment is based on a socio-economic cost estimation, relating to energy consumption during the user phase. Energy use for production and demolition are also taken into account, but only as average values. For the concrete building frame, a full LCA model, regarding the production phase is also developed. For the ranking of technical alternatives, in relation to the priorities of the client, ?Multiple Attribute Decision Analysis?, ?MADA?, was also included in the study and in the toolbox.

The Integrated Life Cycle Design toolbox is tested and further developed by the application on eight real cases. A comparative desktop study on the resulting lifecycle consequences, from different functional quality levels is also undertaken.

It was concluded that integrated life cycle design may enhance the lifetime quality and cost effectiveness of buildings and thus deserves introduction in practice. The life cycle appraisal tools and data are available and calculations can be done with reasonable effort, giving reliable results. The application examples show how integrated life cycle design can guide design decisions towards the optimal building with regard to specific priorities of the client.