Research Output

Life Cycle Environmental Impact Assessment of Contemporary and Traditional Housing in Palestine

  Residential buildings consume a vast amount of energy throughout their whole-life cycles with the subsequent greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted in the atmosphere. This phenomenon will only be exacerbated by projected trends in excessive urbanisation and global population. It is therefore imperative to investigate and quantiatively evaluate the environmental impacts of housing in different regions and contexts in order to enable better and more informed decisions.

This is even more urgent in cases where the possibility for urban development is limited or severely constrained. Palestine represents one such areas of the world, and this research focuses on a comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) of contemporary and traditional housing typologies in the region. Primary data has been collected to provide a reliable basis for the LCA, which has been carried out according to the existing international standards. In addition to energy demand and GHG emissions, additional environmental impact categories have been further evaluated to provide a more holistic sustainability analysis.

Results—strengthened by an uncertainty analysis—show that environmental impacts, energy use, and global warming potential for contemporary houses are for the most much higher than those for traditional houses. This is mainly due to the high impact of concrete and steel, but further exacerbated by the low impact of limestone as a suitable building material for the region. The results presented in this article signpost an important starting point in investigating the real mitigation potential of specific materials (e.g. limestone and lime mortar) when employed at scale in specific regions of the world. Our findings can also contribute to developmental policies for the region, with an aim of reducing the anthropogenic pressure on the natural environment.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    24 July 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Elsevier BV

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    TH Building construction

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    690 Buildings

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Piroozfar, P., Pomponi, F., & El-Alem, F. (2019). Life Cycle Environmental Impact Assessment of Contemporary and Traditional Housing in Palestine. Energy and Buildings, 202,



life cycle assessment (LCA); housing; Palestine; limestone; natural materials; comparative analysis

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