Previous studies have proposed several methods for integrating characterized environmental impacts as a single index in life cycle assessment. Each of them, however, may lead to different results. This study presents internal and external normalization methods, weighting factors proposed by panel methods, and a monetary valuation based on an endpoint life cycle impact assessment method as the integration methods. Furthermore, this study investigates the differences among the integration methods and identifies the causes of the differences through a case study in which five elementary school buildings were used. As a result, when using internal normalization with weighting factors, the weighting factors had a significant influence on the total environmental impacts whereas the normalization had little influence on the total environmental impacts. When using external normalization with weighting factors, the normalization had more significant influence on the total environmental impacts than weighing factors. Due to such differences, the ranking of the five buildings varied depending on the integration methods. The ranking calculated by the monetary valuation method was significantly different from that calculated by the normalization and weighting process. The results aid decision makers in understanding the differences among these integration methods, and, finally, help them select the method most appropriate for the goal at hand.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law