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Materials in the built environment - Whole life energy / carbon

Stevenson, Elizabeth ORCID: 2020. Materials in the built environment - Whole life energy / carbon. WEENTECH Proceedings in Energy 6 (1) , pp. 136-153. 10.32438/WPE.2920

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Buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of global CO2 emissions one quarter of these being Embodied Carbon, which is front loaded to the construction period (months) in comparison to operational carbon emissions which usually occur over decades. Emerging concern about this issue is noted to have driven recent guidance publications and a few countries are preparing legislation to address the issue. The opportunities with most impact lie at the planning and design stage and require a committed client to ensure that early decisions are carried through to completion. This paper analyses the whole life carbon emissions for four façade options in a case study. Three further case studies are analysed for the impact of material choice on embodied and operational carbon emissions. All case studies show potential carbon savings depending on material choice. Even with minor carbon savings for one unit, there is potential for increased saving across multiple units (e.g. hotels and dwellings). Finally, opportunities to utilize waste products are considered, not only reducing carbon emissions, but meeting the Circular Economy principle of “keep products and materials in use”.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: T Technology > TH Building construction
ISSN: 2059-2353
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 16 September 2020
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 17:19

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