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Framework for hybrid life-cycle inventory databases: BEES case study



Sangwon Suh, Barbara C. Lippiatt


In an effort to develop a whole building LCA tool, NIST is transforming new bottom-up BEES data into a hybrid database in which the strengths of both bottom-up and top-down approaches can be combined. The objective of this paper is to describe the framework and the process under which the hybrid BEES database is being built, with an emphasis on its accounting structure. The step-by-step procedure illustrated in this paper will enable the creation of a hybridized BEES database, combining the strengths of both the process-based data and the input-output data with enhanced resolution. The benefit of hybridization at the database level—as opposed to at the individual LCA study level—is that whole-building LCA users can adopt the hybrid BEES approach, with its benefit of a more complete system definition, without the training or effort that would be required to construct a hybrid system from scratch. In addition, reformulation of new BEES data into a matrix structure better facilitates the parametric LCA application in an integrated building design context. By laying out the methodological framework for efficiently transforming an existing LCI database into a hybrid database, this paper can support future development of hybrid LCI databases.
Environmental Science & Technology


BEES, building industry, hybrid, input-output, LCI database


Suh, S. and Lippiatt, B. (2012), Framework for hybrid life-cycle inventory databases: BEES case study, Environmental Science & Technology, [online], (Accessed July 23, 2024)


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Created May 31, 2012, Updated October 12, 2021