Review of visualising LCA results in the design process of buildings

alexander Hollberg, bendik kiss, martin Rock, Bernadette Soust-Verdaguer , Aoife Houlihan Wiberg, Sebastian Lasvaux, Alina Galimshina, Guillaume Habert

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is increasingly used for decision-making in the design process of buildings and neighbourhoods. Therefore, visualisation of LCA results to support interpretation and decision-making becomes more important. The number of building LCA tools and the published literature has increased substantially in recent years. Most of them include some type of visualisation. However, there are currently no clear guidelines and no harmonised way of presenting LCA results. In this paper, we review the current state of the art in visualising LCA results to provide a structured overview. Furthermore, we discuss recent and potential future developments. The review results show a great variety in visualisation options. By matching them with common LCA goals we provide a structured basis for future developments. Case studies combining different kinds of visualisations within the design environment, interactive dashboards, and immersive technologies, such as virtual reality, show a big potential for facilitating the interpretation of LCA results and collaborative design processes. The overview and recommendations presented in this paper provide a basis for future development of intuitive and design-integrated visualisation of LCA results to support decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107530
JournalBuilding and Environment
Early online date29 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the following institutions for supporting this research: Swiss Federal Office of Energy , project “Design-integrated Life Cycle Assessment using BIM (BIM-LCA)” [ SI/501811-01 ]; National Research, Development and Innovation Fund of Hungary , project “Optimisation of buildings and building elements from life cycle and building physics perspective based on complex numeric modelling” [ FK 128663 ] and the BME Water Sciences & Disaster Prevention TKP2020 IE grant of NKFIH Hungary ( BME IE-VIZ TKP2020 ); Spanish Ministry for Science , project “Development of a unified tool for the quantification and reduction of environmental, social and economic impacts of life cycle buildings in Building Information Modelling platforms (BIM)” [ BIA2017-84830-R ]; Research Centre on Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities (FME ZEN) , ZEN partners , the Norwegian Research Council , and the Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Ulster University, UK. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of The Fraunhofer Singapore Centre at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore for hosting the NTNU Master students during their research stay. Martin Röck's contribution is financially supported through a DOC Fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) [2019/1]. We would furthermore like to thank all colleagues in the IEA EBC Annex 72 for the discussions and their valuable feedback.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Buildings
  • Design
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Visualisation


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