Building life cycle stages are the different periods of a building’s lifetime. For instance: raw material harvesting, manufacturing of products, use phase of the building, end of life. In the European markets, the building life cycle stages are defined by EN 15978 and EN 15804 standards, which can be included in LCAs.
The following table lists all life cycle stages according to EN standards:
Life-cycle stages according to the EN standard
- A1: Raw material extraction and processing, processing of secondary material input (e.g. recycling processes)
- A2: Transport to the manufacturer
- A3: Manufacturing
Module A1, A2 and A3 may be declared as one aggregated module A1-A3. All stages include the provision of all materials, products, and energy, as well as waste processing up to the end-of-waste state or disposal of final residues during the product stage. The assessment takes only the building and its parts into account, but not furniture or appliances, for example.
- A4: Transport to the building site
- A5: Installation into the building.
Stages A4 and A5 include all impacts and aspects related to any losses during this construction process stage (i.e. production, transport, and waste processing and disposal of the lost products and materials).
- B1: Use or application of the installed product
- B2: Maintenance
- B3: Repair
- B4: Replacement
- B5: Refurbishment
- B6: Operational energy use (e.g. operation of the heating system and other building-related installed services);
- B7: Operational water use
Stages B6 and B7 include also provision and transport of all materials, products, as well as energy and water provisions, waste processing up to the end-of-waste state or disposal of final residues during this part of the use stage.
- C1: De-construction, demolition
- C2: Transport to waste processing
- C3: Waste processing for reuse, recovery and/or recycling
- C4: Disposal
All C stages include provision and transport, provision of all materials, products and related energy and water use.
- D: Reuse, recovery and/or recycling potentials, expressed as net impacts and benefits
Different life cycle stages are either mandatory or optional for a different scope of LCA. In product level, EPDs only Modules A1 to A3 are mandatory under EN 15804, while all other phases are optional. In building level calculations (for instance according to EN 15978) the idea is to take into account all the meaningful impacts over the lifetime of the building. However, different certifications and calculation systems may limit the modules calculated.
There is also an additional module (Module D), which can be included in the scope of the assessment. Module D allows supplementary information beyond the building lifecycle to be considered. For construction products, this means that the benefits and burdens of disposal after demolition can be taken into account. The use of Module D is consistent with a cradle-to-cradle approach.
Which life cycle stages does One Click LCA support?
One Click LCA supports calculations of all life cycle stages from Cradle to Grave as defined in EN 15978, including construction products and processes in A1-A5, building use, maintenance, energy and water consumption in B1-B7, end-of-life impacts in C1-C4 and external impacts in module D.
However, in most of our tools that are targeted for whole building LCA for different certifications and calculation schemes, the amount of the life cycle stages available is restricted to match the requirement of the scheme in question.