Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Since the first oil crises in the 1970’s operational energy efficiency has become an increasingly important aspect of the design of buildings, as well as a subject of legislation respectively. As a result, the operational energy...

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Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA)

Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA)

Current assessments of the economic performance of buildings are mainly based on performance expressed in cost terms over the life cycle or in terms of financial value over the life cycle. The economic performance ...

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Mission Statement

Science Tower
Klima-und Energiefonds/APA-Fotoservice/Buchacher

The Working Group Sustainable Construction of the Institute of Technology and Testing of Building Materials is offering a broad spectrum in the area of sustainability assessment of buildings, life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle costing (LCC)  and systemic sustainability modelling including digitalisation and multi-criteria decision models.

Our research is dedicated on sustainability assessment methods, the work flow within the building design process and the applicability in the built environment as well as their successful implementation and realisation within demonstration projects. In our interdisciplinary projects our foci lie on the optimization of the environmental and economic performance by the use of life cycle assessment, life cycle costing, system analysis and multi- criteria assessment methods. 


NEWSLETTER


04-18 | CARBAFIN

“Development of a glycosylation platform cell factory
and optimisation of downstream processing for the sustainable production of glycosides and building blocks”

CARBAFIN will develop, based on an integrated biocatalytic production technology, a radically new value chain for the utilisation of surplus sucrose from sugar beet biomass in the EU. CARBAFIN will demonstrate bio-based co-production of a functional glucoside and fructose. Leading platform technologies in biocatalytic cell factories and downstream processing, conjointly optimised in CARBAFIN for performance efficiency and cost-effectiveness under full integration of LCA and LCC, are key to make industrial co-production of glycosides and HMF via fructose competitive in today's markets.

The Working Group Sustainability Assessment will evaluate accompany, in cooperation with the Institute of Business Economics and Industrial Sociology, the environmental impact as well as the economic feasibility of the developed processes and products.

Get informed


04-18 | Lange Nacht der Forschung 2018

On 13 April, the event “Lange Nacht der Forschung 2018” took place. It was opened at Science Tower Graz.

The Working Group gave an insight into research about Building Information Modeling (BIM), tried to explain Multiple-criteria decision-making (MCDM) on the basis of a simple purchase decision and encouraged to calculate (and lower) the personal ecological footprint.

 

We are delighted about the rush of visitors and would like to thank all guests. We look forward to the next event in 2020.


04-18 | IMMO FutureLab

On 10 April 2018 DELTA and ÖGNI hosted an event in Vienna on“Vision: Building stock - How to breathe new life into old buildings”. IMMO FutureLab aims to promote future-oriented thinking in the construction industry, pick up on new topics and offer participants a forum to exchange ideas. Furthermore, it wants to serve the real estate industry as think tank and innovation driver.

Junior Researcher Martin Röck presented our research on “Revitalization as chance to optimize the building life cycle”.  He refered about the potential environmental gains from revitalizing old buildings and how the implementation of LCA in BIM. Furthermore, he presented ongoing research projects on the optimization of environmental impacts throughout the building life cycle.


02-18 | Visiting Professor Dr. Damien Trigaux

 

Dr. Damien Trigaux from KU Leuven is visiting professor at the Working Group Sustainable Construction since March. His expertise in Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) includes several full-scale levels, from methodological basics for assessing materials and construction products to evaluating buildings and whole neighbourhoods. Dr. Trigaux supports the courses Environmental assessment of construction materials (206.456) and Life Cycle Engineering (219.556).


01-18 | Guest Researcher Tajda P. Obrecht

In January and February 2018 the The Working Group Sustainability Assessment has hosted Tajda P. Obrecht as guest researcher. She is a young researcher at the Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZAG) and is preparing her PhD at the University of Ljubljana, which focused on the application of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to refurbishment of buildings. The aim is the improvement of the current methodology for assessing the environmental impacts of refurbishment. During her stay we have investigated the possibilities how to integrate LCA and Building Information Modelling (BIM). The findings will also contribute to the IEA Annex 72 project.  Additionally, possibilities for further collaborations were discussed.


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01-18 | PEF4Buildings, 2nd Stakeholder Workshop @EC, Brussels

At the second PEF4Buildings stakeholder workshop the project partners VITO, KU Leuven and TU Graz shared results on the PEF assessment of two office buildings with stakeholders and got valuable feedback and discussions on potential approaches for benchmarking and classes of performance as well as for the overall assessment at the building level. The importance of work carried out under the umbrella of CEN/TC 350 was underlined once again. Thanks to the stakeholders and the project team, we are ready to start drafting the final report for the EC DG ENV.


01-18 | Working Group Climate Change Centre Austria

On 10 January 2018, the Working Group Consumption Based GHG Accounting (CCCA) gathered for their first meeting this year in Graz. The aim of the meeting was to plan and specify their activities for 2018.

 

Gerfried Jungmeier, Hannes Schwaiger (JOANNEUM RESEARCH); Hanspeter Wieland (Vienna University of Economics and Business); Bernhard Windsperger (Institute for Industrial Ecology); Mathias Kirchner (Austrian Institute of Economic Research); Hanna Schreiber (Environment Agency Austria); Günter Getzinger, Alexander Passer (Graz University of Technology); Karl Steininger (University of Graz)

11-17 | Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria

In November 2017, the Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria held their 20th workshop about the sustainable activities of the participating universities. Besides, a conference on the contribution of the universities to changing science was organised. In the context of the Austrian EU presidency, it is scheduled for November 2018.


11-17 | Inaugural lecture - Assoc.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Alexander Passer, MSc.

 

 

 November 30th 2017 | Aula – Graz University of Technology

The Dean of the faculty of civil engineering invited to the inaugural lecture of Alexander Passer on the occasion of his venia docendi award for the scientific field of Sustainable Construction. Please find the lecture slides and the video from the lecutre including the welcome words of the Rector from Graz University of Technology, the dean, and the head of the institute.

LINK: Lecture Slides

LINK: Pictures (c) JOfotografie

LINK: Video (TUBe.tugraz.at) - lecture starts at minute 29


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11-17 | IEA EBC Annex 72 Kick-Off meeting

From November 27-29 TU Graz hosted the official Kick-Off meeting of IEA EBC Annex 72. We are excited about the team of motivated experts and curious where the project will go in these 4 years. We thank all the participants for their contributions and for making it an enjoyable and productive kick-off! Within "IEA EBC Annex 72 - Assessing Life Cycle Related Environmental Impacts Caused by Buildings" Austria is leading the Subtask on "Assessment workflows and tools" where we will explore the potentials of connecting BIM and LCA for assessment and optimization during the building design process.

Get more information on IEA EBC Annex 72 here and follow the project on researchgate.


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11-17 | COP23: GABC Building Action Symposium

On the occasion of COP23, taking place this year from 6 to 17 November in Bonn, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC) organised a series of events to discuss how to achieve a low-carbon, energy efficient buildings and construction sector.

Following the Symposiums title “How to achieve the Paris Agreement? Identifying key ingredients to achieving a low-carbon, energy efficient buildings and construction sector” Alexander Passer addressed the question of how data can help assess the environmental impacts in the building life cycle at the Building Action Symposium. He presented the new research project IEA EBC Annex 72 as well as recommendations for achieving a transition of the construction sector towards net-zero-energy buildings.

Download the presentation here.

Download the summary here.


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11-17 | New office for AGNHB in the Science Tower Graz

Klima-und Energiefonds/APA-Fotoservice/Buchacher

Our working group found a new home in the Science Tower in Graz. Since November, are located in the Wagner-Biro-Strasse 100, 11th floor, next to Graz main station.

The 60-metre high tower is not only the core of “Smart City Graz project but will also host all kind of green-tec researchers and industry partners.

Designed as a living lab, we are proud to share the experience and evaluate the outcome of our joint research project SCP  – a project which was subsidised by Klima- und Energiefonds Austria.

This new opportunity will help to find more sustainable solutions for the problems that come with urbanisation, digitisation and climate change. The building of the Science Tower is just the beginning in developing the area as a new part of a smart city and hosting living and work-space for around 1500 to 2000 people.

We are looking forward to a good cooperation with our new neighbours and are happy to make up new green technologies whilst experiencing what have been actually researched in this field.

 


10-17 | IEA - network event

On 12 and 13 October 2017, the the bmvit in cooperation with the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology (ÖGUT) invited to the annual networking meeting of the national actors of the IEA research cooperation. The IEA networking meeting was organized this year as one and a half day event with sightseeing tours in Salzburg. The topic was the ‘Transformation of the energy system as an eco-social challenge’.

Martin Röck, Austrian expert in the IEA EBC Annex 72, attended the meeting to represent the newly launched Annex and to network with the actors of the Austrian IEA research cooperation. The presentations on other IEA Annexes, project management as wells as the guided tours in the newly refurbished district Lehen and the innovative wastewater heat recovery system of the ECO Suite Hotel were both interesting and exciting. We are looking forward to be back next year and present the work of IEA EBC Annex 72.

The agenda as well as presentations and photos of the meeting can be found online.


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10-17 | Book launch "IEA EBC ANNEX 57 – Guidline for Construction Product Manufacturers"

Guidance to including Embodied Energy & Embodied GHG Emissions in the decision-making process for SME’s, November 2016.

The IEA EBC Annex57 guideline deals with the Evaluation of Embodied Energy and CO2eq for Building Construction. It provides the necessary methodological bases, tools, calculation rules, data bases and application examples for incorporating the aspects of embodied energy and GHG emissions into the decision-making of relevant stakeholder groups.

Book is available at TU Graz.


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10-17 | 2 ÖGNI convention

The second ÖGNI convention 2017 was held on 18 October at Graz University of Technology, as one of three annually held conventions from the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNI) 

In this frame, Alexander Passer has presented his view towards Operationalisation of Sustainable Construction with Life Cycle Sustianability Assessment (LCSA) and Building Information Modeling (BIM).


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10-17 | New team members

We are happy to welcome our new team members, THERES REISINGER and DOMINIK MAIERHOFER.

Theres started her bachelor studies in October 2016 at Graz University of Technology.

She is interested in environmental issues since her school days and therefore - due to her chosen discipline - also in sustainable building technologies.

Dominik recently started his master studies at the TU Graz, focusing on sustainable infrastructure, mobility as well as Building Information Modelling. Dominik aroused his passion for sustainability in his period as a bachelor student in civil engineering and in various internships in the construction sector.

Theres and Dominik will support us in research projects (e.g. IEA EBC Annex 72) as well as in organisational tasks and teaching and are also highly likely to do their master’s thesis with the collaboration of the working group.

We wish them a very warm welcome and look forward to a good cooperation!


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09-17 | Master's thesis presentation and examination of Richard Deutsch

Richard joined our research group in 2013 and was working part time in our team. Since April 2016 he was part of the project for the preparation of an environmental product declaration for ready-mixed concrete (LINK: GVTB).

In addition to the project he dedicated his scientific efforts for his master thesis on the topic of LCA ready-mixed concrete: Modelling aspects and respective analysis.   

After having finished his thesis, he presented his work and finished his study with distinction. We warmly congratulate him and wish him all the best for his future career path.


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09-17 | Excursion MED Campus Graz

Sustainable construction is more than theory.

Within our joint postgraduate course "Sustainable Construction" (LINK: Nachhaltigesbauen.eu) we aim bringing theory and practice together. Heinrich Schober (LINK: OE MED Campus Graz) one of the master minds in the development of the new MED CAMPUS (LINK: http://medcampus.medunigraz.at) explained the project together with Alexander Passer, who presented details on the sustainability optimisation during the whole design process. During the site visit, it was possible to gain insights on all the details of the building. 

The project is certified as one of the first research and laboratory buiildings as a whole campus (LINK: http://www.ogni.at/de/medcampusgraz/).


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07-17 | PEF4buildings - 1st Stakeholder-Workshop at European Commission, Brussels

The first PEF4Buildings stakeholder meeting was held on 5th July at European Commission Conference centre in Brussels. We are happy that we could share first results and experiences with many stakeholders from across Europe in the framework of testing the PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) method and it’s applicability at the building level. We’re looking forward to a follow-up in November 2017.


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06-17 | New established Scientific Field "Sustainable Construction" at TU Graz

On the 21st of June the rector and vice rectors officially awarded scientific fields with the venia docendi.

Alexander Passer received his venia docendi for the new scientific field of Sustainable Construction, which is a premiere in Austria.

The Invitation to the Inaugural Lecture with the title "BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE. Sustainable Construction: Let's build changes!" can be found here. (LINK: Invitation to the Inaugural Lecture)


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06-17 | World Sustainable Built Environment Conference 2017, Hong Kong

WSBE17 Hong Kong is the world conference of the 2015-2017 cycle of the renowned SBE Conference Series, which is now considered to be the most influential of its kind globally. Following Hong Kong's selection as the host city, WSBE17 Hong Kong concluded the cycle by embracing all of the findings from the 20 regional conferences held in different parts of the world in 2016.

Themed "Transforming Our Built Environment through Innovation and Integration: Putting Ideas into Action", Hong Kong had an aggressive target to "innovate" and "integrate".Several scholars of AGNHB contributed to the conference by presenting research on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Sustainability Certification of construction products and buildings, MDCM for process optimisation and LCA integration in BIM design. Prof. Passer chaired “Session 6.6: Green Construction Materials”.

It was great to see the interest in these topics, discuss our findings with fellow researchers and enjoy the global village of Hong Kong. We’re looking forward to the next SBE! 

 


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05-17 | IEA EBC Annex 72 - First expert meeting of preparation phase at AUU, Copenhagen

The first Annex 72 expert meeting during the preparation phase was held at the Danish Building Research Institute at AAU Copenhagen, Denmark from May 18th – 19th 2017. The workshop included 32 participants from 18 countries, primarily from the EU. The goal was to create the Annex 72 team spirit and to invite experts to contribute as participants to the success of Annex 72. Furthermore, the contents of the subtasks and their activities were discussed and further refined. Alexander Passer and Martin Röck of our Working Group Sustainable Construction joined the experts and contributed in their task of leading the preparations of “Subtask 2 – Assessment workflows and tools”.

Link zu: http://www.iea-ebc.org/projects/ongoing-projects/ebc-annex-72/

 

 


05-17 | Guest Lecture Clemens Kielhauser: Research perspective on Infrastructure Information Modeling

BIM is becoming more and more the standard in the construction industry, but what about the larger scale, such as urban infrastructure networks?

This lecture will be about how information is managed on large scale infrastructure networks, and how this information can be updated using new technologies, such as UAVs.

Rechbauerstraße 12, HS VIII 

31.05.2017, 10:30 Uhr

ETH Zurich


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04-17 | Assessment committee member for a PhD degree at UNICAMP

The Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Urbanism of the University of Campinas appointed Alexander Passer as a member of the assessment committee of Marcella Ruschi Mendes Saade´s Doctorate defense. The public defense took place on April 3rd, in Campinas. Together with the committee members (Profa. Dra. Vanessa Gomes da Silva, Unicamp, Profa. Dra. Cassia Maria Lie Ugaya, Universidad Technológica Federal do Paraná, Profa. Dra. Ana Paula Bortoleto, Unicamp, Prof. Dr. Guillaume Habert, ETH Zürich) Marcella Ruschi Mendes Saade was interviewed about her thesis "Multifunctionality modeling applied to cement and concrete LCAs", supervised by Profa. Dra. Vanessa Gomes da Silva.


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03-17 | PEF4Buildings

The aim and objective of the project is to test the applicability of the EC PEF method, the latest versions available of the related PEF Pilot Guidance documents developed in the framework of the Environmental Footprint pilot test phase and knowledge/experiences from several PEF pilots on construction related materials (draft PEFCR for paints, insulation materials, PV, piping systems for hot and cold water supply in building and metal sheets) to new office buildings, and to provide an overview of pros and cons of alternative possible approaches to the definition of the benchmark and classes of performance for the typology of buildings within the scope of the study. The assessment and the overview will contribute to the development of a final approach to develop benchmark and classes of performance for different typologies of buildings. The project will be carried out by the help of desk studies, from experiences in real building projects and from experiences of the team in several PEF pilot projects. The result of the project will be formulated in a way that it fit well the policy context of the European Commission in the framework. For project for the EC DG Environment VITO is taking the lead with KU Leuven and TU Graz as partners. The project started in January 2017 and the end is foreseen in December 2017. Two stakeholder meetings will be organised during the project under the premises of the European Commission. One to present the lessons learned from the PEF assessment for two office building cases (before summer holidays) and one to present overall findings and guidance for the PEF assessment at the building level. 

A first stakeholder meeting will be organised in Brussels (Belgium) before summer holidays.During that stakeholder meeting we will present our first experiences from testing the applicability of the PEF method to two office building cases. The exact date for this stakeholder meeting will be fixed soon (expected to be on the 5th July 2017). For further information please feel free to contact us.

Link to ResearchGate


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03-17 | Concrete Student Trophy 2017

(c) Zement+Beton Handels- und Werbeges.m.b.H

We invite all students of the architecture and construction faculties of Austrian universities to participate in the Concrete Student Trophy 2017. The tender documents are now available!

Link to tender documents and more information


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11-16 | Master thesis Martin Röck

(c) Martin Röck / TUGraz

Future in process...

Just recently DI Martin Röck finished and successfully defended his master thesis "future in process...Exploring sustainability, participation and the building life cycle" at AGNHB, TU Graz, supervised by Ass. Prof. Dr. Alexander Passer. The work deals with user participation and the integration of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in the architectural design process using Building Information Modelling (BIM). Martin Röck conducted the work over the course of a year, including his participation at Wienerberger Sustainable Building Academy 2015 and some months of research at the Chair of Sustainable Construction at ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Guillaume Habert. 


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11-16 | Visit on the construction site Science Tower

(c) Martin Röck / TUGraz

Science Tower Graz is the lighthouse project in the Graz West city development area. Now that the envelope façade of the tower is finished, employees of the AGNHB got the chance to visit the tower and see for themselves. Soon the towers mantle, applying organic photovoltaic panels will be mounted for the interdisciplinary science hub to presumably start operation in 2017.

After AGNHB already assessed the tower in the Smart City Project Graz Mitte we are now co-supervising a master thesis that will again explore the tower using the architect’s Building Information Model.

Smart City Project Graz


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(c) Ruschi Mendes Saade

10-16 | PhD guest student

The Working Group Sustainability Assessment welcomes Marcella Ruschi Mendes Saade as a guest student. She is doing her PhD at the University of Campinas, in Brazil. Marcella and her advisor, Prof. Dr. Vanessa Gomes, have been working with Life Cycle Assessment applied to building materials and components for quite some time now. Her focus is specifically on impact distribution issues within LCA’s methodology. From October to the end of January she will be aiding in the environmental assessments for the ASSpC project at the Institute of Technology and Construction Materials.


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09-16 | ÖGNI Convention 2.1

(c) Dorn

On Tuesday, 20.09.2016 the ÖGNI convention, as one of three annually held conventions from the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNI) took place at the Technical University Graz. In this frame, Helmuth Kreiner presented a contribution on building certification – planning and construction attendant quality assurance for mulit-criteria objectives.

Contact
image/svg+xml
Alexander Passer
Assoc.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. MSc

Arbeitsgruppe Nachhaltiges Bauen
Waagner-Biro-Straße 100/XI
8020 Graz

Phone
+43 (316) 873 - 7153

Helmuth Kreiner
Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

Arbeitsgruppe Nachhaltiges Bauen
Waagner-Biro-Straße 100/XI
8020 Graz

Phone
+43 (316) 873 - 7154