Eco-design of buildings using thermal simulation and life cycle assessment

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Themes: analyse cycle de vie, thermal simulation, residential building, life cycle assessment, outils aide décision, dynamic analysis, impacts environnement
Energy efficient building are designed to minimize heating, cooling and lighting energy loads, so that attention is now paid on the energy consumption related to inhabitants (e.g. use of appliances) and life cycle issues: fabrication of materials, construction, maintenance, dismantling and waste treatment. In order to study these aspects, both in new construction and renovation projects, thermal simulation has been linked to life cycle assessment. Such a global environmental balance of a building allows for comparison of alternatives, constituting an eco-design tool. This methodology is presented, as well as validation elements from model inter-comparison. Application of this method is illustrated by a case study: two attached passive houses built in France. The results show the contribution of different life cycle stages in the environmental impact indicators (e.g. energy demand, global warming potential, water consumption, waste production...) as well as the influence of occupants on the performance.