Life cycle assessment of stone buildings in the Taihang mountains of Hebei province: Evolution towards cleaner production and operation

Lingege Long, Qingxiang Li*, Zhenkun Gan, Jun Mu, Mauro Overend, Dayu Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


The building sector has gained significant attention due to its remarkably high energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In China's rural areas, stone is a popular building material, but there are unprecedented demands to improve the life-cycle performance of stone buildings. It is essential to preserve the original architectural features while evolving towards a cleaner production and operation. This study implements a field survey in the Taihang Mountains of Hebei province. The improvement of stone extraction methods and the evolution of three stone wall styles are collected and developed. Thermal transmittances of three stone walls are measured and modeled. A cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment is conducted, and the results are compared to show their environmental performance in the embodiment and operation phases. Their life cycle inventories, including stone extraction, are developed. One representative building style sample is developed for the cooling and heating energy requirement simulation in the DesignBuilder. Based on the inventories, conducting life cycle impact assessment shows various environmental profiles in their whole life cycles. From the outcomes, the stone cladding wall (SCW) outperforms the other stone walls in both the embodiment and operation phases. However, its relatively high cost is a challenge for an individual house owner. This study proves the SCW is more sustainable, providing a basis for the choice of stone wall style in the future construction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136625
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Building energy
  • Human labor
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Stone building
  • Stone extraction


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