Lignum Holzwirtschaft Schweiz

Integration of Life cycle phases and environmental impact indicators in BSDD



The product steering committee of buildingSMART International pushed forward the introduction of life cycle stages and environmental impact indicators into the ‹Building smart data Dictionary (BSDD)›. This is an important prerequisite for the broad implementation of environmental assessment and optimization in construction.

Construction products have an important impact on our environment in production and disposal. The environmental impact can be measured trough different indicators over the life cycle stages of a building. This is declared in Environmental product declarations (EPD), but also national authorities provide generic EPD data. This, to allow a fair and reproduceable environmental assessment in early planning stages or to fill gaps in cases EPD are missing.

With this information available, it is possible to assess and minimize the environmental impact of every building planned within the BIM methodology. Beside primary energy (PE), one important environmental impact indicator is the global warming potential (GWP) which represents the relevant emissions to global warming during the production and disposal of construction materials as Carbon dioxide equivalent. With the Paris agreement from 2015, many countries set reduction goals, which will have to touch not only the impact of construction in its operation but expand the view to all life cycle stages which includes production and disposal of its materials.

A common digital framework of Life cycle phases and environmental impact indicators based on a common digital language, represents an important perquisite for collaboration. The publication of machine-readable life cycle stages and environmental impact indicators will also allow manufacturers to provide their environmental product declarations in a decentralized way or to refer to the corresponding generic EPD of their association or their government if they have not calculated such Data.

The integration was coordinated by Hansueli Schmid (Lignum), member of the Product room steering committee of building smart international and the LCA Experts Mr. Rolf Frischknecht (treeze) and Dr. Frank Werner. The transformation of the data was facilitated by the data dictionary tool ‹Define› from Cobuilder. The data was transformed according standard EN ISO 22057:2022 ‹Sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works› and is compatible on European level with EN 15804: ‹Sustainability of construction works – Environmental product declarations› and on international level with ISO 21930:2017 ‹Sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works – Core rules for environmental product declarations of construction products and services›. This digital transformation of LCA indicators worked a prove of concept for the process described in EN ISO 23386 and using the data structure in EN ISO 23387 it was performed by the environmental experts in ISO/TC 59/SC 17, the committee for ISO 22057.

The authors are happy to receive your feedback: hansueli.schmid(at)

More Information available on the following links:
BSDD: LCA indicators and modules 3.0
Data available for programmers via API:
Link for the bSDD API:
Information about the model:
Industry_Report_on_Environmental_Impact_Indicators_221116 (PDF, 376 KB)
Overview of the BSDD content on EPD Data in order to create a proper IDS (XLS, 37 KB)