Social life-cycle assessment for building materials

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The goal of sustainable design and development is threefold, including economic, environmental, and social sustainability. While there are well-established methods for assessing the economic and environmental performance of products and buildings, the determination of social performance is less clear. This chapter explores the emerging field of social life cycle assessment (S-LCA), particularly as it relates to building materials and construction. This chapter includes 1) an introduction to and overview of S-LCA, summarized case studies of S-LCA; 2) a discussion of the relevance of S-LCA in sustainable design practice and education; 3) an examination of the role of environmental life cycle assessment (E-LCA) in building performance standards and certifications as a model for the incorporation of S-LCA; and 4) a reflection on areas for future research, including the addition of social science theory and practice for methodology, criteria, and metric development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch Anthology on Environmental and Societal Well-Being Considerations in Buildings and Architecture
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781799890331
ISBN (Print)9781799890324
StatePublished - May 28 2021

Bibliographical note

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