Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) regional conference, Zurich, June 2016
Environmental performance considerations in the construction sector extend from buildings to neighbourhoods, cities and territory. This transition implies a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) adaptation to efficiently treat such complex systems. Indeed, performing environmental performance evaluations has already been done over the past few years but the existing LCA tools have to be improved regarding their userfriendliness to allow everyday urban planning stakeholders to use them. Providing keys to help the practice is a main subject to spread the large scale LCA evaluation and ensure a better urban planning trending to sustainable solutions. This objective is also motivated by local, national and European policies, particularly within the context of Paris COP21. The aim of this study is to explore enhancement perspectives to facilitate LCA scaling up from building to territory. This work is based on observations from case studies underlining operational issues due to the evaluation time consumption. The urban planning process is analysed to focus, at different stages, on operational responses that could be proposed considering objectives, stakeholders’ needs and potential drivers. In particular, for early stage decision making, an approach introducing urban typo-morphologies has been adopted to facilitate the comparison of large scale evaluations and scenarios. Such typo-morphologies, representing elemental bricks at building or block scale to build neighbourhoods or larger, have been widely described in the past. However, this work concentrates on the applicability of the approach to integrate this sort of description for environmental evaluation based on a multicomponent (buildings, energy, water, public spaces, transportation) description of the systems. Particularly, a focus has to be given to scaling up mechanism. Expert systems sets on heuristic rules could help exploiting a typo-morphologies database. This solution should ease the practice of urban environmental assessments.