A product’s service life is its period of use in service. Service life is necessary to calculate replacement impacts of the construction material, within the calculation period. LCA and LCC use normally the service life of a building as a calculation period. For some tools, the calculation period is pre-defined and cannot be modified by the user.
Here is an example of building product impact with a service life of 12 years that is installed in a building with a service life of 60 years:
One Click LCA offers 3 options to determine the service life of building products:
- Technical service life - In the technical service life, it is assumed that the same type of materials has the same service life setting. The technical service life represents how long materials last in good conditions and this service life setting is the recommended default.
- Commercial service life - The commercial service life setting should be selected when doing retail or hotel projects, in which the service life of the interior (and other materials) is shorter. E.g flooring and finishes will be replaced more often with this service life setting.
- Product-specific service life - With this service life setting the service life values vary per manufacturer and the settings from the EPD will be used. Choose this service life setting for DGNB, E+C- and MPG calculations.
- RICS default service life - With this service life setting the service life values will take the recommended values from the RICS guidance.
Service life of materials can be manually adjusted by clicking on the figure under 'Service life' column.
When do you check your service life settings?
We recommend to check the service life settings of materials used in your LCA/LCC assessment before the end of the assessment. Some useful tips:
- The service life for structural elements generally is set to the same period as the assessment itself.
- For element which are outer surfaces of external or internal elements, make sure that the service life is in line with their use conditions.
- For MEP / building technology, select service life dependent on your product and use conditions.
If you aren’t sure if your product service life is correct, you can find some country specific generic values below. Most countries have a published methodology containing service life values which are relevant to the country in question.
- USA - (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors)
- Canada - (CDW Engineering)
- Germany - (Bundesministerium des Innern, fur Bau und Heimat)
- UK - “Life Expectancy of Building Components. Surveyors’ experiences of buildings in use A practical guide” BCIS, 2006 (ISBN 1 904829 39 2)
- Finland - For Finnish projects according to the method from the Ministry of Environment, the service life of materials is required to be adjusted according to guidelines from Building Information Foundation (RTS, Kiinteistön tekniset käyttöiät ja kunnossapitojaksot).