Environmental Impact Assessment of Building Materials Using Life Cycle Assessment


  • Milad Ghanbari

    Department of Civil Engineering, East Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, 1477893855, Iran




In pursuit of environmental sustainability in the construction sector, this study employs a comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to evaluate the environmental impact of widely used building materials in Iran, with a particular focus on energy consumption and carbon footprint. The investigation encompasses 22 widely used building materials, utilizing the Ecoinvent v3 database and Simapro8 software to assess critical environmental variables, including carbon dioxide (CO2) emission, required primary energy, water consumption, and thermal conductivity. The findings unveil the diverse environmental profiles of these materials, with thermal conductivity typically hovering around zero to 2 W/m.K for most, but with exceptions such as lime, aluminum, rebar, and steel exhibiting significantly higher values. Moreover, aluminum, ceramics, PVC pipe, and expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam are identified as higher energy consumers during their life cycle, in contrast to concrete and cement mortar characterized by lower primary energy demands. The materials identified as high-carbon building materials are steel, stone, plaster, rebar, bitumen, concrete, glass, cement, gravel, and EPS foam. On the other hand, the materials identified as low-carbon building materials are masonry blocks, wood, tiles, bricks, drywall, MDF, and cement mortar. This research provides valuable insights for material selection and sustainable construction practices, emphasizing low-carbon materials to reduce environmental impact and contribute to the global effort to mitigate climate change through responsible construction choices.


Environmental assessment, Low carbon materials, Carbon footprint, Building materials, Life cycle assessment, Energy consumption


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How to Cite

Ghanbari, M. (2023). Environmental Impact Assessment of Building Materials Using Life Cycle Assessment. Journal of Architectural Environment & Structural Engineering Research, 6(4), 11–22. https://doi.org/10.30564/jaeser.v6i4.5964


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