Products, services and infrastructure cause environmental impact throughout their life cycle - from the extraction of raw materials, through use to waste management. LCA is a method for quantifying effects throughout the life cycle. It is used to identify important environmental aspects and avoid environmental problems being shifted to other parts of the life cycle. LCA and life cycle thinking are used for decision making in industry and for public planning and decision making. In this course, students learn the basics of methodology, using LCA software and practice in projects with applications in systems for technology and community planning.
Headings denoted with an asterisk ( * ) is retrieved from the course syllabus version Autumn 2021
Content and learning outcomes
The course covers:
- LCA methodology
- LCA tools and - databases
- Specialisation of life cycle impact in a specific field that the students choose independently
- Lecture from industry with examples of use of LCA for decision making
Intended learning outcomes
The general aim of the course is to develop the student's ability to assess environmental impact of complex systems in technology and urban planning based on a life-cycle perspective by giving theoretical and practical skills in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
After passing the course, the students should be able to:
- Give an account of the aim applications of the LCA method.
- Explain the analytical phases and central concepts of the LCA method.
- Apply the analytical phases and central concepts of the LCA method on complex systems in technology and urban planning.
- Identify uncertainties in LCA method and data and evaluate how these influence the results.
- Report in writing the completed LCA study according to ISO's standard for LCA.
- Use LCA software.
- Give an account of the results orally of the completed LCA the study.
- Work in a collaborative project setting
- Report in writing and give an account of a critical review orally of an LCA report.
A 7.5 credit course corresponds to 5 weeks of full time studies.
Scheduled learning activities in the course include (total ~50 hrs):
- Lectures (11 x 2 hrs)
- Computer labs (5 x 2 hrs)
- Project supervision (4 x 30-45 min)
- Project seminars (3 x 2-3 hrs)
- Home exam (open two working days, expected work time ~4-6 hrs)
Make sure to make room also for individual studies, including:
- Reading course literature
- Project work (~100 hrs/2.5 weeks)
- Critical review of another project (~1 day)
- Final revision of report (~2 days)
NOTE: Week 47 will be especially intense, with pre-seminar and home exam! Take this into account when you plan your work.
Preparations before course start
Before the course starts
A large part of this course consists of a group project. Project groups are formed based on the interest of students, and projects are shaped based on your own ideas and research questions. Therefore, you should prepare by thinking of topics that you would like to work with in your projects. Read more in the introduction page to the course in Canvas.
Schedule, deadlines, and signing up for appointments
The schedule with lectures, seminars, and computer labs is available in TimeEdit.
All course related deadlines (assignments, exam and signing up for seminars, supervisions and computer labs) are listed in Canvas Calendar. Instructions for signing up in Calendar can be found here.
NOTE: You need to add the course AL2608 to your Canvas Calendar in order to see calendar events and sign up for appintments.
Curran, M. A. (ed) (2015) Life Cycle Assessment Student Handbook. Wiley.
It is also available online at the KTH Library. Requires lgin with KID-id.
Scientific papers (available in Canvas)
As listed under each lecture in this document.
SimaPro manuals (available in Canvas)
- PRé Consultants (2016) Introduction to LCA with SimaPro
- PRé Consultants (2014) SimaPro Tutorial
Useful web resources
- LCA Compendium - The Complete world of Life Cycle Assessment (Springer Link): https://link.springer.com/search?facet-series=%2211776%22&facet-content-type=%22Book%22
- Jolliet, O. et al (2015) Environmental Life Cycle Assessment. Boca Raton: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/oa-mono/10.1201/b19138/environmental-life-cycle-assessment-olivier-jolliet-myriam-saade-sbeih-shanna-shaked-alexandre-jolliet-pierre-crettaz
Support for students with disabilities
Students at KTH with a permanent disability can get support during studies from Funka:
Examination and completion
A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
- PRO1 - Project work, 5.0 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
- TEN1 - Home exam, 2.5 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.
The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.
The section below is not retrieved from the course syllabus:
Project work ( PRO1 )
- The group project examines intended learning outcomes 3-9.
- The project report is graded A-F.
- The grade of the project report is based on the following factors (details provided in Canvas):
- Report content (your understanding of LCA methodology, and ability to design and perform an LCA study)
- Report formal qualities (outline, clarity, language, referencing).
- In order to pass the project, you also need to fulfill other compulsory elements (attendance and active participation in supervision and seminars, or compensation assignments in case of absence, and meeting deadlines) which are graded as Pass/Fail.
Home exam ( TEN1 )
- The exam covers intended learning outcomes 1-2.
- The home exam consists of three parts
- Part A: Multiple choice questions, to test terminology and basic understanding of the LCA method.
- Part B: Multiple answer questions, to test for ability to apply LCA methodology to more complex problems.
- Part C: Calculation assignment, to test for more advanced understanding of LCA methodology.
- Maximum points is 45 distributed over parts A-C with 15 points each.
- In order to pass the exam, you need to have 20 points or more in total on parts A and B. Part C is not graded unless you fulfill this requirement.
- If you fulfill this requirement, the grading limits are as follows:
- A: ≥ 40 p
- B: ≥ 35 p
- C: ≥ 30 p
- D: ≥ 25 p
- E: ≥ 20 p
- Fx: < 20 p)
- If you do not pass the home exam, but receive Fx, you will need to do a complementary oral examination. After oral examination, the you can only receive the grade E.
Final course grade
The final grade (A-F) is a weighted average of the home exam and the project. The project is weighted slightly less than its corresponding credits (Exam weight = 2.5; Project weight = 4).
In order to receive a final grade, the requirements for an “E” for the home exam and all compulsory elements of the project work must be fulfilled.
Fx represents a failing grade but which can be complemented to reach the grade E.
Grading criteria/assessment criteria
Assessment criteria for the project report are available in Canvas.
Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination
"Upping" of grades is not possible in this course. It is therefore of key importance that you are active and contribute responsibly to your group project from the start, but also that you inform your project supervisor at an early stage if you experience problems in group project collaboration.
- All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
- In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
- In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.
No information inserted
31 Oct 2022
- Autumn 2022-51183
- Autumn 2022-50685
Language Of Instruction