Nordic Harmonisation of Life Cycle Assessment

Are you interested in following Nordic LCA?

All the Nordic countries have ambitions about mitigating the climate changes by reducing the total amount of carbon emissions. Reductions in the building sector are a key element in achieving these targets.

Since 2018, the Nordic building authorities have been discussing future regulation on climate emissions, sharing experiences and working together towards harmonised Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods for buildings.

LCA of buildings is quickly gaining ground in the Nordic countries as the method assesses the whole life climate emissions of buildings, and all the Nordic countries are developing methods and investigating how to include this in the national building regulations. Sweden, Norway and Denmark have already implemented their first set of regulation, Finland will follow in 2025 and Iceland and Estonia are currently considering the same.
We have made an overview of this in the table below:

Nordic goals for climate reduction in buildings and construction

A unique window to align approaches

However, working with normative climate declarations for buildings is relatively new in all countries, and practices are not yet well established. At this stage, the Nordic countries have a unique window to align approaches, exchange knowledge and research how to create and specify the regulation concerning climate emissions together.

In this work package, ‘Nordic Harmonisation of Life Cycle Assessment’, Nordic Sustainable Construction works towards harmonising normative methods for building LCAs in the Nordic countries so that design and construction companies will be able to offer low carbon solutions in all the Nordic countries.

Furthermore, similar approaches will benefit policy-makers on national and municipal levels so that we can support each other’s climate ambitions in regulation and in green public procurement, but also in the European policy development.

Finally, in order to digitalise the Nordic building design, construction and management processes, it is of high importance that we set joint criteria for digital LCA as well.


Analysis of Nordic LCA-practices

In the first project period, the ‘Nordic Harmonisation of Life Cycle Assessment’ work package has focused on analysis of Nordic LCA-practices, including a feasibility study and facilitation for harmonisation.

This work has lead up to the publishing of a harmonisation roadmap elaborating on each country's status and setting the strategic aims for the harmonisation.

Read the roadmap for harmonising Nordic LCA regulation here

BIM for LCA - calculating the climate impact of buildings through digitalisation

A project on how to digitalise LCA, including guidance for BIM and development of online learning material for BIM-based LCA, has been won by the BIM4LCA consortium. 

This consortium consists of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (coordinator), Granlund Ltd, Gravicon Ltd and Insinööritoimisto Kallinen Ltd (ARKCON).

Read more about the project on BIM for LCA here.

Greenhouse gas limit values and reporting the decarbonisation of Nordic building stock

A project on how to measure and report the decarbonisation of the Nordic building stock and creating a common basis for setting limit values for emission has begun. The project is lead by SWECO Denmark with BUILD AAU, EFLA and LCA support as subcontractors

Watch a presentation of the project at this year's Nordic Climate Forum for Construction here. The presentation begins at 4:00 hours

Upcoming Activities

Data for LCA

Data is essential to follow the climate impact of our buildings, and databases that provide typical emission and other environmental data have an important role in the processes that should enable the assessment of buildings with the help of unified, or at least comparable, methods and practices. Therefore, a task has started in 2023 focusing on data, which will result in a report covering:

  • Process for gathering typical data
  • Data for old buildings
  • Data for bio based products
  • Data for vegetation

Read more about the project on data for LCA here.


Work package responsible

Ministry of the Environment - Finland

Maria Tiainen
Senior specialist

Work Package updates