Matériaux & Techniques
Volume 104, Number 6-7, 2016
Society and Materials (SAM10)
|Number of page(s)
|29 March 2017
Comparative life cycle social assessment of buildings: health and comfort criterion
1 ISISE, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Coimbra, Portugal
2 CEARQ, Department of Architecture, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Received: 19 September 2016
Accepted: 16 December 2016
The assessment of the sustainability of buildings embraces environmental, economic and social criteria. In the framework of recent European standards developed under CEN/TC 350, the first generation of the standards for the assessment of life cycle social criteria covers only the use stage (information modules B1 to B7). The categories of social performance that are deemed to have an agreed basis for European standardization are (EN 15643-3:2012): (i) Accessibility; (ii) Adaptability; (iii) Health and Comfort; (iv) Impacts on the Neighbourhood; (v) Maintenance and Maintainability; and (vi) Safety and Security. Although guidance for the evaluation of social criteria is provided by standard EN 16309:2014, its effective quantification is mainly based on qualitative criteria and a checklist approach. Contrary to the standards for the assessment of environmental and economic criteria, the qualitative approach recommended for social assessment does not enable an easy comparability of the results of assessments. Moreover, currently no application to real case study buildings has been performed, which makes its practical implementation and its understanding more complex. Thus, the aim of this paper is to perform a life cycle assessment of the social performance of buildings, focusing on the criterion of health and comfort. This criterion addresses different sub-criteria; however, in this paper the assessment is performed taking into account the sub-criteria of indoor air quality and thermal characteristics. The buildings selected as case studies are schools for higher education. Three different buildings are analysed and the results are compared aiming to obtain a ranking of the building performances. The comparative assessment of the building performances, taking into account the sub-criteria described above is a decision-making problem. The method proposed in this paper to address this problem is based on a weighting hierarchic scheme, which enables to address simultaneously quantitative and qualitative information in the decision process. Some guidelines and recommendations are provided based on the results of the assessments.
Key words: Life-cycle analysis / Social LCA / Buildings performance / Health and comfort criterion / Comparative assessment
© EDP Sciences, 2017
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