SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  16 August 2012
Volume 13 Issue 8

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First International Symposium on Life Cycle Assessment and Construction

Anne Ventura, French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport

The International Symposium on Life Cycle Assessment and Construction was co-organized by the French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport (IFSTTAR), the French Institute for Transport, Development and Networks, and the French Scientific and Technical Center for Buildings (CSTB) under the scientific auspices of SETAC and two other international organisations: the International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures (RILEM) and the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE). The symposium took place 10-12 July 2012, in Nantes, France. It was also encouraged by EcoSD, the French network of researchers and industrials in eco-design, and LiRGeC, the regional network of researchers in civil engineering. The symposium benefited from the institutional partnerships of the French Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, the region Pays de la Loire, and Nantes Métropole and sponsorships from Bouygues Construction, Lafarge, Cycleco, Cimbéton and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Three keynote lecturers were invited: Jeroen Guinée of the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, Arpad Horvath of the University of California, Berkeley, USA and Niklaus Kohler of EPFL, Switzerland. The scientific program of the two first days included 41 presentations in the following session topics:

  • Life cycle inventory data: validation, aggregation, uncertainties
  • Methods for buildings
  • Decision and management
  • Life cycle assessment case studies for buildings and infrastructures
  • Dynamic life cycle assessment, service life and indicators
  • Methods for construction materials
  • End of life, waste and allocation

A poster session was also organized with 20 posters. The third day of the symposium was dedicated to exchanges between research and practitioners through invited presentations and round tables. There were 165 participants that attended the symposium from 23 different countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.

The best article award was delivered by the scientific committee and offered by Bouygues Construction to Sarah E. Horvath and Zsuzsa Szalay from the Department of Building Constructions, Faculty of Architecture in Budapest University, for their article entitled “Decision-making case study for retrofit of high-rise concrete buildings based on life cycle assessment scenarios.”

The proceedings of the symposium will be freely available on the Rilem website next September. The numerous and enthusiastic feedback from the participants and keynote lecturers encourage thinking about a second symposium in a few years. The organising committee would be happy to help.

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