PhD position Dynamic LCA model of the housing stock in Flanders

Job description

In Europe, the building sector is responsible for about 36% of the greenhouse gas emissions. To reach environmental and climate targets, this sector requires an important transformation, both energy and material related. The aim of this PhD research is to develop a dynamic Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) model of the housing stock in Flanders to support policy makers to steer more effectively towards a lower environmental impact of the built environment. A building-by-building approach is used by modelling each dwelling of the housing stock. The model covers temporal evolutions in the housing stock and changes of external factors related to the energy mix, material consumption and climate change. 3D stock models and geospatial (GIS) data are used to provide insight in the spatial distribution of the environmental impacts. To define the modelling requirements and enable decision support at different scale levels, the dynamic LCA model is applied at both regional (Flanders) and city level. Two policy applications are elaborated to illustrate the potential of the LCA model. First, the model is used to define environmental benchmarks for residential buildings in Flanders, extending the already existing energy benchmarks with life cycle environmental impacts. Second, the model is applied to develop and assess renovation strategies for residential buildings to comply with the defined benchmarks. This second application supports the important challenge to increase the annual renovation rate of the building stock.

The PhD fellowship is granted within the collaboration between VITO and KU Leuven. The selected candidate will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Karen Allacker (KU Leuven) and co-promoted by Dr. Damien Trigaux (EnergyVille/ VITO/KU Leuven).

For more information, please contact Damien Trigaux:

Our offer
VITO and KU Leuven offer the candidate a PhD scholarship of 4 years (2+2). The PhD research will be developed in the unit “Smart Energy and Built Environment (SEB)” of VITO and the research division “Architectural Engineering (AE)” of the KU Leuven. Both KU Leuven and VITO have extensive experience in LCA of buildings and building stock modelling and collaborated on this topic in the past in the context of various research projects. This expertise is seen as crucial for successfully achieving the goals of this research proposal, while the project itself will contribute to expanding the knowledge of both research units in terms of dynamic stock modelling.

How to apply?

Applications should be submitted online and should include a copy of your CV and a cover letter.
You can apply for this PhD vacancy no later than September 5, 2022.

More information is available on PhD | VITO.

Job requirements

  • You have a Master in Architectural Engineering, Civil Engineering (or a related field).
  • You have a motivated interest in research in environmental life cycle assessment, building energy modelling and building stock modelling.
  • Experience with GIS software and programming (e.g. Python) is a plus.
  • You work proactively and independently and have good communication skills.
  • You have a very good knowledge of English, both spoken and written. Knowledge of Dutch is a plus as you will have to work with Flemish datasets.
  • You are highly motivated, ambitious and result-oriented.
  • Workplace in Genk (EnergyVille) and Heverlee (KU Leuven).