The chaire proposes an original way to perform Life Cycle Assessment named "action oriented Life Cycle Assessment". This concept, proposed by Anne Ventura, relies upon the idea that Life Cycle Assessment must be developped considering steps in link with the decisionnal process. It must help each different actor in the product chain, by providing information on environmental consequences of its own action possibilities. It thus helps to identify action levers of the environmental performance.

"Classical" Life Cycle Assessment

In "classical" Life Cycle Assessment, the decision-maker must choose among a reduced set of solutions, that are pre-defined by the ones wh conduct the Life Cycle Assessment study. (Life Cycle Assessment experts + professionnal experts).

This shows strong limits:

-    Environmental performances are rarely improved for all impact categories, and the decision-maker must set priorities between various environmental impacts.
-    As the decision-maker has having, in general, a poor knowledge about environmental impacts, priority is often given to the "famous impacts" (in France, climate change is presently the most famous environmental impact, due to media coverage);
-    The decision-maker does not have information on the consequences of numerous intermediary choices, before reaching a reduced set of solutions (i.e. choices of heating equipments, materials...);
-   Possible interactions between these choices are not accounted (i.e. between material choice and building's end of life)
-   Obtained results are "average" results (i.e. typical european cases) and they do not allow distinguishing an innovative solution from the average.

"Action-oriented" Life Cycle Assessment

"Action-oriented" Life Cycle Assessment has the objective to favor decisions of each single actor in a product chain, at each single step of a decision process.
It does not reduce a priori the number of possible solutions, but it identifies most efficicient action possibilities as well as integrating interactions between those decisions.
The method is based on the modeling of each actor's process, at various levels: inside the process itself, inside the whole life cycle of the studied product, and inside an economic market. Environmental properties of this complex system are analysed using global sensitivity analysis.

Publications of researchers of the chaire civil engineering ecoconstruction