Establishing a comprehensive database of construction material environmental flow coefficients for Australia

  • YEAR
    Crawford, Robert
    Bontinck, Paul-Antoine
    Stephan, Andre
    2018 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science: Architecture, Design and Environment
    Conference Papers


A large increase in the building stock will be needed over the coming decades to cater for forecast global population growth. Such an increase could result in tremendous strain on the environment, both from operating these new buildings and from the demand for resources required to construct and maintain them. Life cycle assessment is a tool that can be used in the design of new building projects, or during the refurbishment of existing ones, to assess and improve their environmental performance. Life cycle assessment is typically complex and time consuming, especially when used for analysing whole building projects. This is particularly the case when it comes to analysing construction-related, or embodied, environmental flows. To facilitate ease of use for projects that are often highly time and budget constrained, product-based environmental flow coefficients are typically used, providing an indication of the environmental flows associated with a particular building (e.g. energy or greenhouse gas emissions). Construction-related coefficients are rare in Australia and those that do exist are out of date. In this study, we demonstrate a semi-automated approach for compiling coefficients for construction materials using the Path Exchange method. This forms the basis of a comprehensive database of construction material environmental flow coefficients that is urgently needed by the construction industry to inform environmental decision making. These values can be used independently or easily integrated within existing life cycle assessment tools to streamline improvements to the environmental performance of construction projects.


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