Causal Effects between Criteria That Establish the End of Service Life of Buildings and Components

Ana Silva*, Jorge de Brito, A.F. Thomsen, A. Straub, Andrés J. Prieto, Michael A. Lacasse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


In the last decades, considerable work has been done regarding service life prediction of buildings and building components. Academics and members of the CIB W080 commission, as well as of ISO TC 59/SC14, have made several efforts in this area and created a general terminology for the concept of service life, which is extremely relevant for property management, life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costs (LCC) analyses. Various definitions can be found in the literature that share common ideas. In fact, there are different criteria that trigger the end of a building’s service life, but the trap that building practitioners too often fall into and that should be avoided is dividing a problem into separate boxes, labels, and specializations without the mutual cohesion and interaction, and ignoring human behavior. Some definitions of service life are discussed in this review paper, in which the cause-effect processes underlying aging and decay are described. These descriptions highlight the continuous interrelation between different criteria for the end of a building’s service life, considering too often neglected and misunderstood causes of the end of life.
Original languageEnglish
Article number88
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Buildings’ components
  • Property management
  • Service life

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