Today, the society faces major challenges to act and react against the climate change by all possible means. As the building sector contributes significantly to energy consumption worldwide, it also presents many opportunities for integrating sustainability in both existing and new buildings. This paper presents a review on the main aspects concerning buildings sustainability focusing on a life cycle approach, which is seen as an efficient way to improve the environmental dimension of sustainability. The findings show that decisions in each life cycle phase affect the subsequent outcomes, with the design stage being the most important for implementing long term sustainable measures. Following, the present review outlines the process of decision-making in each stage and the current approaches for reducing the built environment impact on the planet. But the economic and social aspects could not be neglected as shown by the latest studies in the field.

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