Chapter 10: Commonly agreed life cycle sustainability assessment principles: examples in construction, challenges and feasibility
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This chapter intends to enhance the interdisciplinary application of Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) and help decision-makers in all sectors and the uptake of sustainability in its three dimensions. Identified and evaluated literature reveals shortcomings in LCSA framework implementation, for example studies considering only two pillars, not being fully aligned with ISO 14040/ISO 14044, lacking interconnectedness between the three pillars, or missing interpretation and optimization approaches. Based on these challenges, global LCSA experts developed the following Ten Principles during an eight-month consensus-building process: (1) Understanding the Areas of Protection; (2) Alignment with ISO 14040; (3) Completeness; (4) Stakeholders’ perspective consideration; (5) Product utility consideration; (6) Materiality of system boundaries; (7) Consistency; (8) Transparency; (9) Explicit trade-offs communication; and (10) Caution when compensating impacts. This chapter aims to support non-experts and experts, practitioners, and scientists in increasing the applicability of LCSA by elaborating on the benefits of applying the principles, illustrating the application of them through examples in the construction sector and discussing the remaining challenges.

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