Service life of the dwelling stock in Spain
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Purpose Service life of buildings is an essential parameter to evaluate its operational impact in life cycle assessment (LCA). Although most studies assume building service life about 75 to 100 years since no reliable data are available, its accurate quantification is still an unresolved work. To avoid wrong generalizations, the determination of the service life of buildings according to the characteristics of every region is required. Methods Life table, a methodology traditionally used in demographic studies, has been used in this paper to estimate the service life of buildings. This methodology has been applied to the dwelling stock of Spain for each of its 19 regions. Data acquisition and sources have been pointed out. The building obsolescence has been considered in the moment that they are in a ruinous state. Results and discussion Life table of buildings showed that the average service life of a residential building constructed in 2001 in Spain was expected to be 80 years. Significant different results of service life among regions were found, from 54 years for a building in Ceuta to 95 years in La Rioja. It also showed that 50 % of total Spanish dwellings are younger than 30 years, and they are expected to reach the ruinous state in 2063 to 2081. Conclusions Life table applied to buildings allows determining their service life. Its quantification is based on the buildings census, given by official institutions. Building census has to consider the year of construction and the state of conservation of the building to be applied in buildings' life table. Building service life can be used in LCA, renovation and deconstruction of the building stock, and future construction and demolition debris management.