Evaluation of the environmental impacts of the Fort d’Aubervilliers EcoDistrict project, using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
How to evaluate the environmental impacts of an urban development project?
The ZAC EcoQuartier du Fort d’Aubervilliers project set out to transform 36 hectares of urban wasteland into a mixed-use eco-district, open to the city, that would respect all the advantages offered by the site. The planning operation consisted of some 900 homes, a school complex and generous green spaces.
Efficacity supported GPA on:
- Analysing the environmental performance of tranche 1 of the ZAC;
- Evaluating the contributions from urban services against several different environmental indicators (greenhouse gas emissions).
The methodology adopted was based on Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) (ISO 14040) and used the Urban Print tool developed by Efficacity to incorporate into the analysis:
- The different types of building (housing, shops, offices, schools, hospitals, hotels, etc.),
- Public spaces (roadways, car parks, green spaces, etc.),
- Existing networks (water supply, sanitation, waste, urban heating, etc.),
- Mobility flows for the different types of user.
Aspects linked to residents’ behaviour (water and energy consumption, waste treatment, percentage of waste sorting and recycling, etc.) and the characteristics of the site (transport distances, climate, energy sources used to produce electricity and urban heating, etc.) were also taken into account.
In accordance with the LCA methodology, substances extracted from and emitted to the environment were accounted for, and then environmental indicators were deduced for the four phases of the district life cycle: construction, use, renovation and demolition.
The results obtained were used to quantify the environmental impacts of the planning project according to different contributors.
Three in particular were identified as the biggest contributors, all within the same order of magnitude, to greenhouse gas emissions over a 50-year period: construction, energy consumption for heating, and mobility.
In contrast, urban services relating to wastewater and waste management accounted for less than 10% of total emissions.