End-Life-Impacts of Refurbishments in accordance with EN 15978

  • According to EN 15978 scope, the end-of-life impacts of the existing or previous building should not be included in the new/next building LCA. However, for interior/fit-out/refurbishment assessments, should we be including the removal of existing finishes like carpets which facilitate installation of new carpets in the LCA? Shouldn’t the removal of that existing carpet technically be part of the previous building’s LCA impacts according to EN 15978?

    Generally end-of-life impacts from previous buildings should not be included in the current buildings’ LCA. However, for interior fit-outs the situation is a bit more complicated and depends on the starting condition.

    The potential scenarios are:
    1. An Anchor Tenancy in a New Building –
    In this scenario the Reference Case (business-as-usual) should be an ‘integrated fit-out’
    Reasoning: Because the building construction won’t go ahead before they sign, so they would be able to specify the fit-out details.

    There should be no impacts from de-fit of previous tenancy (there was no previous tenancy), or benefit from retaining previous items.

    2. A Large Sub-Tenancy (but not anchor tenancy) in a New Building –
    In this scenario the Reference Case (business-as-usual) should be to ‘de-fit a warm fit-out’
    Reasoning: Because they will want their own fit-out, but the building will have had a warm fit done to entice tenants.

    The impacts of removal of the warm fit out should be accounted for, so there is a benefit for retaining existing items (i.e. integrated fit-out).

    3. A Large Sub-Tenancy in an Existing Building –
    In this scenario the Reference Case (business-as-usual) should be the ‘de-fit of the previous tenancy’
    Reasoning: Previous fit out will most likely not be appropriate for the new operation.

    The impacts from previous fit out removal don’t need to be accounted for as they are already accounted for in the end-of-life from the previous fit out. So there is a benefit for retaining any existing items (i.e. integrated fit-out).

    4. A Small Tenancy in Mixed-Use/Residential Building –
    In this scenario the Reference Case (business-as-usual) should be to use existing warm fit-out of base building i.e. ‘integrated fit-out’
    Reasoning: Because this type of business is most likely small and won’t have the resources to fully refit the space.

    There should be no impact from previous fit-out or benefits from retaining previous items. In this case there would be a penalty for removing existing items.

    Note that based on this discussion, we have now created a new demolition template specifically for fit-outs to account for the end-of-life deconstruction impacts (module C1) of the new fit-out project. Please use the ‘Demolition – Fitout (End-of-Life)‘ template for fit-out only assessments.

    For fit-out only assessments, if there is any removal of existing finishes to facilitate the completion of the new fit-out, please use the two templates – ‘Floor Covering – Existing Carpet For Removal’ and ‘Ceiling Lining – Existing Plasterboard for Removal’ templates to account for the once-off material disposal impacts of existing carpet or plasterboard that will be removed.

    For whole building assessments, please consider the Warm Shell Fit-out Material Waste Impacts, BAU Average (m2) or Warm Shell Fit-out Material Waste Impacts, Office Building, 35% replaced (m2) templates to account for ‘warm shell’ assumptions in the Reference/BAU building. For details of the assumptions used for these templates, please refer to the template description. The fit-out end-of-life demolition template won’t be necessary for a whole building assessment since the overall building demolition template would already account for this.


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