2020: Special Issue "Sustainable development and circular economy"
Special Issue - Sustainable development and circular economy

Evaluation of environmental impacts of historic buildings conservation through Life Cycle Assessment in a circular economy perspective

Antonia Gravagnuolo
CNR IRISS Institute for Research on Innovation and Services for Development
Mariarosaria Angrisano
Università Telematica Pegaso
Matteo Nativo
Politecnico di Milano

Published 2021-03-14


  • embodied carbon,
  • historic buildings,
  • Life Cycle Assessment,
  • LCA,
  • circular economy,
  • cultural heritage
  • ...More

Funding data


Decarbonizing the economy is one of the main ambitions for the European Union. The construction sector contributes to global warming, during all buildings life cycle phases. Greenhouse gas emissions are present in the whole process of construction, use/operation and dismissing/demolishing. The Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an evaluation approach to assess CO2 and other greenhouse gases emissions during the whole life cycle of a building or product. The aim of this paper is to test the LCA methodology for the evaluation of environmental impacts of historic buildings, towards a circular economy approach in the adaptive reuse of cultural heritage. The case study is an abandoned monastery in Salerno, Italy. Results show that LCA can effectively inform the design phase of cultural heritage adaptive reuse, comparing different conservation and design alternatives.


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