This article is a summary of a part of a doctoral work carried out at the University of L'Aquila which illustrates a study of LCA (Life Cycle Asessment) applied to a single family house built in Rome with laminated wood structure, straw infill and cocciopesto plaster (lime mixed with pottery fragments). In this study the methodology compares this house, built with natural materials, and a corresponding "virtual" one, with the same geometric, architectural and typological characteristics, but built with concrete, bricks and polystyrene. The purpose has been to establish, in terms of environmental impacts, the potential innovative aspects regarding, in general, the sustainability of a process design and of the construction techniques compared to the traditional realization mode. LCA studies are an important evaluation and investigation tool that allows to identify all the interactions that products, services and processes exchange with the surrounding environment. The methodology has been initially applied to products and processes related to the industrial sector; however, for some years, LCA is also spreading in the building sector with the aim to verify the effectiveness of choices concerning building systems and materials. The difficulties emerging in the application of this method to a building process come from the inability to accurately define, evaluate and quantify all the uncertainties that take over in the construction phase, e.g. the protracting time due to weather conditions or the extending of further workings during building process. The analysis has been carried out after the construction of the building, so the informations needed to determine the impacts were already available. However, in cases in which LCA is used before a constructive process, useful aspects for the definition of the results related to these uncertainties should be introduced. The methodology applied in this work is EDIP 97 that follows the guidelines set out in ISO 14040 standards. In particular the method is available in DELCA, a code developed in the Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering at the University of L'Aquila.
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