Lifespan is an essential parameter for the accounting and analysis of material stocks and flows, one of the main research topics in industrial ecology. Lifespan is also important as a parameter that portrays the current and historical situation of industrial metabolism, which is an area of interest to industrial ecologists.
In the present article, the available information from various reports on product lifespan was reviewed. Although we found a large number of data for many durables, the definition of lifespan in published articles varied, which limited our ability to compare reported values. We therefore first defined lifespan and then compared the international and historical data.
We compiled more than 1,300 data sets from various sources and identified some differences among the types of goods and among regions. With the reviewed data noted in this article, we established a database, named LiVES (Lifespan Database for Vehicles, Equipment, and Structures), and will disclose it on the Internet to share the information.