The environmental impact of the Waitakere NOW Home: A life cycle assessment case study

David Drysdale, Barbara Nebel, Nick Collins, Andrea Blackmore.

A Life Cycle Assessment case study of Beacon Pathway’s Waitakere NOW Home indicates that the greatest environmental impact of a house is not during construction or manufacturing, but from its operation over the life of the house.

The study focused on the house itself over a 100-year period in New Zealand, with a family of four inhabiting it. Heating, lighting and hot water were considered, and seven key building systems were evaluated separately. Life cycle phases of construction, use, maintenance, transportation of materials to site and end of life were included. New Zealand-specific Life Cycle Inventory data was used, wherever possible, for building materials. However, where New Zealand data was unavailable, European industry data was used.