international association for shell and spatial structures

Working Group 18: Life-Cycle Design and Assessment of Shell and Spatial Structures


The aim of the WG18 is to support the development of assessment methodologies, design strategies, and construction techniques to reduce the environmental footprint of shell and spatial structures. Three directions of development are identified.

  1. Consolidation of Environmental Footprint Assessments: Current applications of life-cycle assessment to special structures are not rigorous enough to allow for relevant comparison, repetition, or inference. New methodologies are needed that address shell and spatial structures specifically. In addition, the integration of life-cycle assessments into design processes remains an open question.
  2. Environment-Driven Design: The use of natural resources in the construction industry is far from being sustainable. Design processes and construction technologies that are primarily led by environmental concerns are still to be developed. Possible investigations include low-impact construction techniques, low-waste manufacturing and construction processes, low-impact material, multi-criteria (environmental, comfort, structural, functional) design, reuse-based structural design, versatile assemblies, and reversible structures.
  3. Benchmarks: Successful solutions must be identified and promoted. To this end, there is a need for rigorous comparisons and benchmarks that encompass the full environmental footprint of the structures and the functional space they generate. In addition, case studies must highlight best practices of shell and spatial structures in terms of environmental impact.


The IASS Working Group 18 on Life-Cycle Design and Assessment of Shell and Spatial Structures was formed in 1999 with the initial name Environmentally Compatible Structures (ECS). The initial task of the Working Group was to develop a systematic approach to the methods and theory that would assist in the design, execution and operation of environmentally compatible structures (ECS) as well as in their understanding. Under the impetus of Prof. Ludevit Végh, the Working Group organized seven international seminars with published Proceedings on problems of ECS between 1999 and 2009. A second phase of activities pushed by Dr. Petr Végh led to three other seminars as well as the publication of a monograph (Fundamentals of the Theory of ECS, by L.Végh, LAP Lambert, 2010) and a textbook (Concept of the Theory of ECS, edited by L.Végh and P.Végh, 2011). In 2018, the working group suggested to change its name to Life-Cycle Design and Assessment of Shell and Spatial Structures, in an effort to update its mission towards rising environmental challenges.

Current Objectives

  • Support the development of publications that relate to Life-Cycle Design and Assessment of Shell and Spatial Structures.
  • Assist the work of other IASS Working Groups in assessing environmental impacts and in developing shells and spatial structures with lower impact.
  • Organize sessions at IASS Symposia and Colloquia related to Life-Cycle Design and Assessment.
  • Contribute to the organization and editing of Special Issues of the Journal of the IASS related to Life-Cycle Design and Assessment of Shell and Spatial Structures.
  • Accumulate publications and links on the Working Group website relevant to the mission, objectives and activities of the WG and of potential value to those interested in Life-Cycle Design and Assessment of Shell and Spatial Structures.

Recent Activities

  • The Co-chair represents the IASS at the Globe Consensus.
  • Organized WG sessions at the Hamburg 2017, Boston 2018, and Barcelona 2019 Symposia.
  • Organized a two-part session at the IASS-SLTE 2014 Symposium in Brasilia.
  • Co-organized a joint Colloquium with WG 12 in 2015 on “Bio-based and Bio-Inspired Environmentally Compatible Structures” at Tokyo Denki University, Tokyo, April 10-13. 2015.
  • Preparation of the joint WG 18+12 sessions for the 2016 Tokyo Symposium
  • Publication of the “Fundamentals of the Theory of ECS“ – a monograph by Prof. L. Vegh, DrSc, published by LAP LAMBERT in Germany in 2010. The book is sold through regular channel on the book market.
  • The second edition of the textbook "Concept of the Theory of ECS," written by 19 authors, from the Czech Republic, Germany, Canada, Japan and Hungary, with editors: Prof L. Végh, DrSc and Dr. Petr Végh, PhD, P.Eng. is now in print. The book is available from the Secretariat of the IASS WG 18 on a non-profit basis (
  • Preparation of the joint IASS WG 18 + Tensinet WG Sustainability and Comfort session, named Softening the environment, in the 6th Tensinet Symposium organized by Tensinet Association and helped at Polytechnic of Milan, as host Institution.


The Working Group welcomes new members who have an interest in the mission and objectives of the group; those IASS members interested should please contact one of the Chairs of the Working Group (Find e-mail addresses in the IASS Directory by logging in):

  • Prof. Olivier BAVEREL (Co-Chair) - France
  • Prof. Corentin FIVET (Co-Chair) - Switzerland
  • Dr. Petr VEGH (Past Chair) - Canada

The full list of current members of the WG may be found in the members-only part of the webpage, link below.

Further Information for IASS Members

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