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ANR funded project

Bâtiments et villes durables (BVD)
Edition 2011


Accurate, simplified and reproductible Energy and Environnemental balance of buildings

Life cycle assessment as an integrated part of building design
The aim of the BENEFIS project is to facilitate the environmental assessment and eco-design of buildings based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method. In order to integrate this method into the normal design process and to initiate the transition toward an approach driven by performance requirements, the project must leads to the deployment of operational tool intended for all stakeholders.

Towards consistent LCA methodologies and operational building LCA tools.
Analysis of the life cycle is now widely recognized as an appropriate tool for assessing the environmental performances of buildings. However, its common deployment for construction or rehabilitation projects faces many obstacles. The BENEFIS project proposes to address the following key aspects:
- The need for improvement and consistency of energy and environmental simulations for highly efficient buildings from the energy point of view;
- The need for simplified models for design support as well as for the rapid assessment of aspects of the building stakeholders may have no influence on;
- Improving the reproducibility of studies, notably by developing tutorials and developing “state of the art” practice;
- The difficulty of analysis and use of the results (understanding, interpretation, precautions regarding the use as decision support, uncertainty, robustness).

Harmonized methodologies and operational tools
The project stakeholders, by their nature, their networks and skills are building a bridge between the current and future building life cycle assessment (LCA) practices.
To increase the trust in the analysis of the life cycle of buildings,-methodological works are carried out to improve consistency between the models, to provide better explanations of the assumptions and make reproducible studies.
To make the eco-design approach understandable and accessible by the largest number of people, the consortium proposes, tests and validates simplified approaches that correspond to the needs and practices of architects, engineering offices, etc.
Finally, to support stakeholders in decision-making (e.g. choice between two design options), BENEFIS is also interested in developing solutions for indicators aggregation and uncertainty management.
The project covers broad theoretical aspects of LCA methodology adapted to buildings, but it also deploy important efforts in order to develop operational methods. Finally, the experimental part of the project (internal and external testing) is a crucial issue to validate the project outputs.


The project partners who develop ELODIE and EQUER tools integrate BENEFIS theoretical and operational results by improving their software. These tools are already used by other project partners and external users (outside the scope of BENEFIS) for - for example, supplying distinctive offerings while answering call for tenders.


In the current context of increasing awareness about environmental impacts of the construction industry, governments and stakeholders of the building sector expressed the need to have new methods to helps them make unbiased design choices and to assess the environmental performance of their buildings.
BENEFIS, proposes methods that meet the needs of the business. It should help to shift towards a performance driven approach of the environmental quality of buildings.

Scientific outputs and patents

A report synthesizes the methodological developments of the project, usable by the developers of LCA software and LCA practitioners. The EQUER and ELODIE tools have already incorporated outputs from this work. Knowledge and feedback from the project experiments will be released progressively.



BYCN Bouygues Construction

CSTB Centre Scientifique et technique du Bâtiment


IZUBA IZUBA énergies

ANR grant: 786 056 euros
Beginning and duration: janvier 2012 - 36 mois

Submission abstract

In line with the general principles of sustainable development, the Construction sector is preparing its transition to a performance based approach. The complete sector will have to adapt and needs operationnal and efficient tools for all actors.
Life cyle assessment is unanimously considered as the reliable tool for environmental performance assessment of buidlings. However, its everyday use by non experts in actual construction or refurbishment projects is limited due to several scientific and technical locks. The BENEFIS project will try to provide efficient answerr to some of the most important locks identified :
- need for improvement of energy and environmental modelling of energy efficient buildings (EEB),
- need for simplified models for building programming and design, and for quick assessment of items that details assessment is not required in all situations,
- Improvement of reproducibility fo studies from a tool to another or for tool user to other, by providing guidelines and educational softwares for energy and LCA modelling, improving hypothesis traceability, simplifying data collect and capture,
- Difficulty of LCA results analysis and use (understanding, interpretation, conditions of use for decision making, robustness, uncertainties...).
The project partners will be careful in providing knowledges and know how deliverables that can be used by all interested parties (methodological reports, scientific papers, scientific popularization documents...). ELODIE and EQUER developers will use all knowledge and know how provided by the project to improve their softwares in new releases. All project partners will use their scientific, technical and professionnal network to widely communicate and disseminate the knowledge and know how developed in this project.


ANR Programme: Bâtiments et villes durables (BVD) 2011

Project ID: ANR-11-VILD-0001

Project coordinator:
Madame Alexandra LEBERT (Centre Scientifique et technique du Bâtiment)

Project web site: http://extranet.cstb.local/sites/anr/benefis/Pages/Accueil.aspx


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The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.