Belatchew Labs

LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) in the Design Phase

LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) and Cost Control in the Design Phase

The project aims to develop a tool to improve decision-making on the economy and the environment by examining processes for both the construction of a project and the rest of the building's life cycle. The project is divided into the phases of research, programming and test.

Today, thanks to BIM tools, the construction industry has made great progress in its decision-making methods. These new processes have proven that a thorough overview in the early stages leads to more efficient design and construction phases. However, these new tools do not allow the users to do an analysis of the life cycle of their projects. These studies called LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) are a scientific measurement of the impact of a project lifespan.

Unfortunately, for complex systems like residential buildings, the available LCA methods and tools can be time, resources and data consuming, which makes it difficult for designers to use them daily without being LCA experts. Therefore, these tasks are devolved to specialised consultants and it can lead to delayed assessments with conclusions being delivered after important design decisions have already been made.

It is important, from the early stages until the latest ones, to integrate tools that will give designers opportunities to make choices that result in more environmentally friendly buildings, with the help of Boverket, we will develop a tool that aim at:

  • avoid repeated manual data entry. Since the LCA calculation is developed in the BIM software itself, all changes in the BIM model are automatically updated in the life cycle analysis;
  • compare different material alternatives with real-time assessment, which helps the user to make decisions while changes are tested in the model;
  • evaluate the entire building’s life cycle through various environmental and economic indicators. This provides a more accurate analysis of the building’s durability already in an early design stage.

The project can be followed at our blog: http://lca.belatchew.com/

BuzzBuilding in Archinect, 2014.
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Rahel Belatchew in HSB Uppsala 80 år, 2013
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Twist in Trä! #2 2015
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Strawscraper in VICE August 2013
Rahel Belatchew in Form Magazine
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Rahel Belatchew portrayed in ICON Magazine #7 2012.
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