Building product naming convention for WB-LCA benchmarking

Hi Everyone!

The Athena Institute and other entities are working on producing performance benchmarks for use in whole-building LCA . An absolutely key part of this work is to define a standardized method for naming/classifying building products. Our initiative is set to assign products MasterFormat and UniFormat titles to arrive at a building-level “bill of materials”. A sample set of bill of materials will then be queried from a database and evaluated using LCA methods to arrive at a performance benchmark (e.g., kg CO2 per m2 GFA). Ideally, different benchmarking programs would use the same product naming convention for ease of data sharing.

OmniClass Table 23 (“Products”) is helpful but we need to incorporate other identifiers such as thickness (e.g., 1/2" vs. 5/8" gypsum board), strength class (e.g., 300 vs. 400 MPa rebar), and unit of measure (m2 vs. m3 vs. tons). I found one method, the “Open BIMObject Standard” from Australia ( Is there a more internationally recognized/used standard than this?

If someone has produced a product list according to a standardized method that would be extremely useful to see. Any other comments are very much welcome, this is a tricky topic and it would be great if we could converge on some sort of consensus.



Hi Matt,

I have been looking for something similar and have yet to come across any existing resource. I would be happy to collaborate with whomever is interested in developing this naming/classifying standard. My primary motivation is to streamline the LCA analysis of projects using OneClick LCA by avoiding to have to re-associate materials in models from different design firms with the appropriate materials in the OneClick database.


Hi Phil, I think it would be great to get a group together to hopefully find some consensus on this! It would be very helpful to have people involved in benchmarking, that use BIM for material quantities, WB-LCA practitioners/tool providers, and/or those familiar with construction classification standards like Uniclass, OmniClass, MasterFormat, UniFormat, etc.

I’m doing some research on this topic now to assemble enough material/ideas to start this type of discussion. I think it’s really important to get this as right as possible from the outset to give it the best chance at industry uptake.

1 Like

ISO TC59 SC17 WG3 is currently working on the development of an ISO Standard, ISO 22057 to provide a format for EPD for use in BIM, following the principles of ISO 23386 and ISO 23387 for data templates, data dictionaries based on ISO 12006-3 and IFC and data sharing according to ISO 16739.
The aim is to provide a common digital format for EPD (using either EN 15804 or ISO 21930) so that they can be used in BIM and Building LCA tools as you suggest.
The DIS draft will be available for comment through National Standards Bodies in the Autumn.

Dear Matt,
It is good to hear you from here. Thanks again for your help last time regarding the WB-LCA question.

Regarding your question, my research right now is mainly about building level LCA benchmark. I am trying to get enough single family residential building design drawings to reach a reasonable benchmark setup. Probably more work needs to be done to reach an industry usage level.

Anyway, I can contribute if we need to setup a team for this standard method. I am also working with a team in UK, and will let you know if I found any useful information in this matter.

Best Regards
Haibo Feng