I would like to start a discussion about the application of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle thinking (LCT) in the design and refurbishing of buildings.
LCA allows considering the impact in all the stages of their life cycle, including the production of the building materials and equipment, the transportation and construction, the use and maintenance, and the final disposal. Therefore the life cycle approach allows to avoid trade-offs between stages of the life cycle of products, impact categories or geographical areas.
I think that current legislation is leading to the minimization of the direct consumption in the building use (which now accounts for 60-70% of the total impact, depending strongly on the type of building, constructive solutions and climatology), so that the impact of the indirect consumption will be increasing.
I coordinated the IEE project "ENSLIC" some years ago.In the website www.enslic.eu, you will find a "LCA guidelines" document and 30 "LCA case studies". The information is in English and other languages.
Now I'm coordinating the Interreg-SUDOE project "EnerBuiLCA"(www.enerbuilca-sudoe.eu). We have created a "Thematic Network on LCA in Buildings". Let me encourage you to register in this Network. You will be able to access to all the project results and to share information about this topic. You will find the information in Spanish, French and Portuguese.
I hope this information will be of your interest.