The importance of primary data for life cycle assessment of construction products in Brazil


This work presents a study of six construction products: sand, gravel, clay block, concrete block, ready-mix concrete and mortar. National LCIs were developed using primary data collected at manufacturers located in the State of São Paulo, and upstream and downstream processes were based on the ecoinvent database. Datasets available in ecoinvent deemed representative of these six construction products were chosen for comparison. Four impact indicators were calculated: Global Warming Potential, Water Depletion, Cumulative Energy Demand and Resource Depletion. The differences between the national and the international impact results range from 10% to 255%, with an overall average difference of 69%. GWP was the indicator with the least average difference (53%); while Water Depletion had the highest (101%). Regarding the products, the differences considering all impact indicators range from 42% (gravel) to 109% (clay block). The results indicate the importance of national LCIs based on primary data in order to ensure reliable construction LCA studies in Brazil.

SILVA, Fernanda Belizario; ARDUIN, Rachel Horta; DIESTELKAMP, Elisabeth Donega; TEIXEIRA, Cláudia Echevenguá; OLIVEIRA, Luciana Alves de. The importance of primary data for life cycle assessment of construction products in Brazil. In: INTERNACIONAL CONFERENCE ON LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT IN LATIN AMERICA, CILCA, 7., 2017, Medellin, Colombia. Proceedings… 6 p.

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