Assessment of eco-rehabilitation plans: Case study ‘Richordi Berchet’ palace

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Setting eco-rehabilitation plans for cultural heritage buildings require robust guidelines and assessment mechanism to account for the reuse scenarios as well as the construction and demolition waste management plans (C&D-WMPs). This is problematic with the existence of numerous environmental assessment methods. Nevertheless, it is noted that the majority of building rehabilitation practices pay more concern towards the physical properties of materials rather than their environmental value. Hence, this study provides insights for using two different assessment methods in this regard; ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’ (LEED) and ‘Life Cycle Assessment’ (LCA). The study adopts a cross-comparative quantitative methodology using a practical case study analysis- ‘Richordi Berchet’ palace - the oldest historic LEED Gold certified building. It investigates the efficiency of LEED materials’ credits to support sustainable building reuse and set C&D-WMPs. Noting that these credits operate in quite a simplistic and abstract manner based on materials’ physical properties; weight, area or volume, hence, the LCA method is used to account for their environmental profile expressed in embodied carbon and embodied energy. This pinpoints cases where the use of LEED measurement criteria provides acceptable results and others where the use of LCA is necessary to yield reliable results-noting that their marginal percentage difference is estimated to be ±15%. This indicates the mutual benefit of integrating LCA to support LEED materials credits in such a way that achieves relevance and reliability of eco-building rehabilitation plans. This aims at bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners’ best practices. It also provides insights for green building rating systems developers to consider the environmental value of sustainable rehabilitation guidelines and set reliable measurement and evaluation mechanism.