101-0608-00L  Design-Integrated Life Cycle Assessment

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersG. Habert, A. Rodionova
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


101-0608-00 GDesign-Integrated Life Cycle Assessment2 hrs
Tue13:45-15:30HPT C 103 »
G. Habert, A. Rodionova

Catalogue data

AbstractCurrently, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is applied as an ex-post design evaluation of buildings, but rarely used to improve the building during the design process.
The aim of this course is to apply LCA during the design of buildings by means of a digital, parametric tool. The necessary fundamentals of the LCA method will be taught following a lecture on demands approach.
ObjectiveThe course will follow two main objectives and a third optional objective, depending on the design projects the students’ choose. At the end of the course, the students will:
1. Know the methodology of LCA
2. Be able to apply LCA in the design process to assess and improve the environmental performance of their projects
3. Be able to use the parametric LCA tool and link it to additional performance assessment tools for a holistic optimisation
ContentThe course will be structured into two parts, each making up about half of the semester.

Part I: Exercises with lectures on demand
The first six individual courses will follow the “lectures on demand” approach. Small “hands-on” exercises focusing on one specific aspect will be given out and the necessary background knowledge will be provided in the form of short input lectures when questions arise. The following topics will be discussed during the first part:
1) LCA basic introduction
2) System boundaries, functional unit, end of life
3) Carbon budget and LCA benchmarks
4) BIM-LCA, available calculation tools and databases
5) Integrated analysis of environmental and cost assessment
6) Bio-based carbon storage

Part II: Project-based learning
In the second part, the students will work on their individual project in groups of three. For the design task, the students will bring their own project and work on improving it. The projects can be chosen depending on the students background and range from buildings to infrastructure projects. Intermediate presentations will ensure the continuous work and make sure all groups are on the same level and learn from each other. During this part, the following hands-on tutorials will be given:
1) Introduction to Rhinoceros 6 and 7
2) Introduction to grasshopper
3) Integrated assessment tools (ladybug tools)
4) Introduction to in-house grasshopper plugin for LCA analysis
Lecture notesAs the course follows a lecture on demand approach, the lecture slides will be provided after each course.
LiteratureA list of the basic literature will be offered on a specific online platform, that could be used by all students attending the lectures.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe students are expected to work out of class as well. The course time will be used by the teachers to answer project-specific questions.

The lecture series will be conducted in English and is aimed at students of master's programs, particularly in civil engineering and MIBS.
No lecture will be given during Seminar week.
Subject-specific CompetenciesTechniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkassessed
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection assessed

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersG. Habert, A. Rodionova
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationThe graded semester performance will be conducted through the assessment of a group project from 5 points of view – 1) Functional unit and system boundary (LCA theory) 2) Software usage 3) Carbon storage possibility 4) Integrated design solutions (passive, active strategies for sustainable design) 5) Embodied energy versus operational energy. Each group will familiarize themselves with the project from another group (project coordinator will do the groups formation) and discuss the findings with the committee (pros and cons of the projects, possible improvements taking into account mentioned points). Each committee member will individually discuss with each group the related aspects.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Civil Engineering MasterMajor in Construction and Maintenance ManagementWInformation
Civil Engineering MasterProject Based CoursesWInformation
Integrated Building Systems MasterCore CoursesWInformation