An as-occupied life cycle energy assessment of a residential building

    Crawford, Robert H
    Buildings and energy


A comprehensive analysis of the energy demand of a building over its entire life, based on actual operational energy data and a comprehensive analysis of both initial and recurring embodied energy, is extremely rare. To address this, the aim of this study was to analyse the total energy demand associated with a case study house, based on as-occupied building energy data. A hybrid embodied energy assessment approach was used to quantify initial and recurring embodied energy over a 50-year period, providing the most comprehensive assessment of embodied energy possible.

The study showed that the total life cycle energy demand of the case study house was 10,612 GJ, or 36.4 GJ/m2. Of this, operational energy was shown to account for 40%, initial embodied energy 37% and recurring embodied energy 22% of the total. This demonstrates that the energy embodied in buildings is much more significant than previously thought. With on-going building operational energy efficiency improvements this component of a building’s energy demand is likely to become even more important as is the need to utilise best-practice approaches for quantifying embodied energy.

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