Life-cycle assessment and embodied energy: A review

G. F. Menzies, S. Turan, P. F. G. Banfill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper life-cycle assessment (LCA) is studied and a brief review and classification of databases and inventories is given. The factors affecting the dissimilar results in various databases are examined and discussed. The main obstacles to LCA and life-cycle energy studies, and their sources, are discussed, together with the role of data in inventory analysis. Embodied energy results are reviewed and compared, and the causes of dissimilarities and variations in these studies are presented. This paper focuses on methodologies developed and adopted for data processing, and inventory analysis for building materials. The data-LCA relationship is investigated, and the importance and role of data in LCA is reviewed. A case study of steel as a building material is introduced and a number of life cycle energy assessment studies are evaluated. The paper concludes by outlining a number of issues which need to be handled with care when performing a life-cycle study, and which warrant further qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Construction Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • design methods & aids
  • environment
  • materials technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials


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