construction Product

LCA - Life Cycle Assessment

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Life Cycle Assessment is a standardized methodological framework for assessing the potential environmental impacts of a product or service. It assesses the entire life cycle of a product or service, i.e. including next to the core system under study also all upstream and downstream processes that are connected to the core system. This wide definition of system boundaries enables LCA to illustrate environmental impacts of a product or service with relation to its operation, but also the required input materials or energy carriers and also waste streams and its end-of-life. Based on a thorough inventory of all environmental emissions and resource use in all life-cycle stages, LCA calculates cumulative potential environmental impacts for a product or service. The impact assessment is based on scientifically derived LCA indicators describing different aspects of environmental damage (e.g. global warming, abiotic resource depletion, freshwater eutrophication, ecotoxicity). LCA can thus be used to show and explore the environmental profile of a product or service and compare alternative scenarios or products in their environmental impacts. It is useful to identify hot-spots in the product life-cycle in terms of emissions or resource use, and also illustrates potential trade-offs between environmental categories (e.g. reducing environmental emissions from a service at the cost of increased energy use and related greenhouse gas emissions).

LCA is a standarized method defined in ISO 14040 and ISO 14044, which describe the necessary steps of an LCA for each phase and how to report them in an LCA study. The general framework leaves room for adapting the LCA procedure on a particular case by adequately defining goal and scope of the LCA to best address the overall goal of the investigation.

In the frame of circular economy, LCA can be used to explore the environmental benefits and potential drawbacks of CE schemes in comparison to conventional "linear" production systems or services. This approach provides valuable information for decision makers, but also process developers to promote and improve CE products and services based on a scientifically transparent assessment of environmental profiles.

Target audience

Researchers/consulting engineers as LCA practitioners, decision makers (managers, treatment plant operators, process developers, politicians, ...) as target audience for LCA results

Owner of the product

Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin GmbH

Contact person

Christian Remy (

Actors, their roles and interactions

Typically, LCA practitioners such as researchers or consulting engineers carry out LCA studies based on data from lab, pilot or full-scale operation of CE systems and compare them to equivalent systems of a linear economy. With these results, they can inform water utilities, technology providers and decision makers from municipalities or policy on the environmental benefits of CE solutions to enable them to promote or improve CE in their sector.

Technical requirements

For Umberto LCA+:

- Operating system Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10
- Microsoft .NET Framework 4.64
- Memory 4 GB RAM or higher
- Available hard disk space: up to 10 GB or more (depending on installed LCI databases)
- Monitor with at least 1280 x 1024 px resolution (recommended)

Software data

Umberto LCA+ 10.0
Commercial licence of supplier IFU


Technology of the CE applied by the product

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Resource for Circular Economy

Case Studies applying the product