Life Cycle Assessment of Buildings: A Practice Guide

CLF’s Whole Building LCA Benchmark Study identifies a need in the industry for standardized and accessible guidance on how to conduct an LCA of a building.  The LCA Practice Guide was developed to address this need.  The LCA Practice Guide and supporting files are provided below.

Component of Practice Guide Description Access

Practice Guide


This is the primary document of the LCA Practice Guide.  It introduces the concept of life cycle assessment to building professionals and explains how to determine the environmental impacts of a building step by step.  Version 1.1 (June 2019) is the second update following the original publication in June 2018 and contains a roadmap diagram, which is also provided separately below. Download (PDF)

Road Map to Reducing Building Life Cycle Impacts


This timeline contains suggested actions and milestones for reducing building life cycle impacts

Two versions for download:

2-page document

Full-page spread

Technical Guidance This document is directed at LCA experts who are looking for technical recommendations to support the development of LCAs of buildings in North America.  Note that the version dated 2018-07-09 has the same content as the version dated 2018-06-19, but with different title page formatting that includes sponsor logos. Download (PDF)
Taxonomy for Whole Building LCA This is a proposed information scheme for reporting information relating to LCAs of buildings, Goal and Scope sections. Download (Word doc)
Gingerbread House LCA Example This is a simple example demonstrating the LCA process using a gingerbread house. Download (PDF)

Companion publication


Life Cycle Assessment (Simonen)

A handbook for architects and building industry professionals with technical information and explanation of life cycle assessment methodology, data, and applications for building practice.Life...

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