Life Cycle Assessment: Evaluation of a Construction Project in Ireland

The Natural Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (NEES) project was funded by the Northern Periphery Programme 2007-2013. As part of the project, a demonstration project was being used to test six of the ‘NEES best practices’. The project involved refurbishing an existing Parnell cottage at a rural location outside Cloyne, County Cork, and building a new extension. The six best practices considered were:

  1. Timber frame construction
  2. Hempcrete external insulation
  3. Cellulose insulation
  4. Triple glazed wooden windows
  5. Green (sedum) roofs
  6. Gravel reed bed for wastewater treatment

Sustineo won an open tender to evaluate this demonstration project. Our evaluation considered the building as a whole and the various best practices from the list above.

A mass analysis of the NEES specification and a comparable conventional design, as well as a building energy rating (BER) assessment, formed the basis of the evaluation. The metrics were mass, energy, carbon and cost over the life cycle of building, but our report also considers biodiversity, human health, ease of construction and maintenance.

“We think Sustineo not only delivered on what has been agreed, but went the extra mile and looked at aspects that were very relevant but which we had not included in the initial brief. The final product is very thorough and has great credibility. It is an asset to the Project to be able to demonstrate that we have subjected one of our pilot projects to a rigorous scientific analysis. It adds weight to the arguments and seriousness of the project. If clients want a Life Cycle Analysis or similar comprehensive study and analysis, we would not hesitate in recommending Sustineo.”

José Ospina