The effect of building and material service life on the life cycle embodied energy of an apartment building

  • YEAR
    2015
  • AUTHORS
    Rauf, Abdul
    Crawford, Robert H
  • CATEGORIES
    2015 Conference Papers
    Buildings and Energy
    Conference Papers

Extract

The service life of a building and its constituent materials and components plays an important role in the long-term environmental performance of a building. The replacement of materials over the life of a building results in a demand for natural resources. More frequent replacement increases this resource demand and other related environmental effects. Of particular concern is the use of energy, especially in a sector that already contributes significantly to global warming. However, the energy demand associated with material replacement over a building’s life is not well understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the service life of a multi-unit residential building and its constituent materials and its life cycle embodied energy. An apartment building located in Melbourne, Australia was used as a case study for this analysis. The initial and recurring embodied energy of the building were calculated using a comprehensive hybrid embodied energy assessment approach, with building and material service life values based on average figures obtained from the literature. Building and material service life values were then varied to reflect the extent of service life variability likely for the building and a selection of the main building materials, and the embodied energy recalculated for each scenario. The results from this study show that the service life of a building and its materials may have a significant effect on the energy-related environmental performance of a building over its life.

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