The CILECCTA project has developed an integrated methodology that ensures the compatibility between LCC and LCA

The CILECCTA project has developed a bridge between life cycle thinking connected to both economics and the environment, and has created demonstration software based on this.

When a decision is made in the construction sector, it is often made on the basis of an economic evaluation of various alternatives. Often these calculations are based on investment costs, not considering outlays on future maintenance or waste treatment, and neglecting the lifetime of the system components. Life Cycle Costs (LCC) is a calculation method taking these issues into account. The same can be done for environmentally damaging emissions using the method of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The CILECCTA software combines the two methods, thus creating a new term: Life Cycle Costing and Assessment (LCC+A).

The CILECCTA project is a FP7 large-scale project which has consisted of 15 partners from 7 European countries. The consortium combines top class academics and industrial researchers, associations and business to develop a suite of Life Cycle Cost Assessment software (LCC+A).

The CILECCTA software is an innovative tool developed to be a decision making tool which can be used for sustainable planning within all kinds of construction projects. How to handle uncertainty, together with the possibility of implementing flexible systems, are issues which are dealt with in a unique way.

The integration of economic-oriented LCC and environmentally oriented LCA presents significant challenges as they are quantified in different units. In addition they originated in very different contexts – investment efficiency for LCC and environmental conservation for LCA – and adopt different assumptions. Time preference (the increased weight given to costs or benefits that occur in the near future compared to those that are further in the future) is formalized through a discount rate in LCC, but in LCA a discount rate is not used. In connection with this issue, together with making it possible to import data from Price Banks (PBs) and Life Cycle Indicator Results (LCIRs) across Europe, a mapping tool has been developed using the International Framework for Dictionaries (IFD). This is a standard for ontology based on internationally accepted open standards.

For CILECCTA this means that each potential data provider will implement a common interface that accepts a standardized input and generates a standardized set of return values. The mapping approach guarantees that the different material categories are globally unique and therefore the interface to each data provider will be kept very simple. In this way the user can be sure that apples and pears are not being compared when data from different databases are used.

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