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Final report on Contract No 7210-PR/116, 1 June 1998 to 31 December 2001.

This report describes the methodology and preliminary findings from a life-cycle assessment study of steel construction products manufactured and used in western Europe. The principal outputs from the study are LCI (life-cycle inventory) datasheets, one for each of the 16 product groups studied, and a matrix software tool. The datasheets present full LCI data, using west European average data as a default, in the most 'unallocated' form and data obtained using six different end-of-life allocation methods. The LCA matrix is a software application that allows the user to specify input parameters in order to calculate project-specific LCI product profiles. This tool can also be used to undertake sensitivity analyses on the collated dataset.

The study has identified the relatively minor environmental impact of all life-cycle stages downstream of steel production. For example, considering energy consumption, all phases downstream of production account, on average, for 25% of the total life-cycle impact.

The study has confirmed the high recycling rates achieved for steel construction products within western Europe. On average, the study found that 83% of all steel construction products are recycled at the end of building life and a further 14% reused. The study has also quantified and highlighted the importance of accurately accounting for reuse and recycling within LCA methodology for highly recyclable materials such as metals.

Additional information

Authors: SANSOM M, SCI, Ascot (GB;MEIJER J, Intron, Culemborg (NL)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20570 EN (2002), pp.160. Euro: 23.50
Availability: EUR-OP reference: KI-NA-20570-EN-S Available from EUR-OP sales agents URL:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-4637-4
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