Life-cycle assessment comparison for long-span cable and truss structural systems: Case study

Matthew Trussoni, Evan Simatic, Christopher H. Raebel, H. Peter Huttelmaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The architectural engineer has a considerable influence on the sustainability of buildings. The reduction in environmental impacts of building materials, as measured by life-cycle assessment (LCA), has recently become a focus in construction sustainability initiatives. The LCA comparisons of material alternatives in building structures, like concrete and steel, have not captured the material efficiency that the comparisons of structural system alternatives can provide. This paper compares the LCAs of two long-span structural systems, a truss system and a cable system, for the same application. Lower environmental outcomes are shown for the cable system when comparing the two systems' LCAs. Results showed a 29% reduction in structural system mass, a 65.1% reduction in embodied energy, and a 67.2% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when comparing the cable to the truss system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number05014005
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Case study
  • Efficiency
  • Environmental issues
  • Life cycles
  • Structural design
  • Structural systems
  • Sustainable buildings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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