AUTHORSAllende, Alejandro Lara
CATEGORIES2020 Conference Papers Carbon Reduction in Built Environments Conference Papers
Data used to conduct a life cycle assessment, called a life cycle inventory (LCI), is rarely scrutinised and its effects on the results of an environmental assessment is understudied. Hybrid analysis is the most comprehensive technique to compile an LCI. It combines bottom-up industrial process data and top-down macroeconomic input-output data. This study compares two hybrid LCIs of construction materials, using the same technique, developed in 1997 and 2019. This paper evaluates the effect of LCI data on the life cycle embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions of a recent housing development in Melbourne, Australia. The case study development consists of six different apartment buildings (~14,000m² gross floor area; 555 inhabitants) that have an improved environmental performance compared to business-as-usual. Results show that the 2019 LCI lead to a decrease in the life cycle embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions over 50 years, from 39.1 GJ/m² to 32.2 GJ/m² (-17.6%) and from 2,338 kgCO2e/m² to 2,218 kgCO2e/m² (-5.1%), respectively. The embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions ranking of some materials changed by up to five positions, while at the assembly level the top five assemblies did not change much. This analysis provides rare insights into the effects of hybrid LCI data on the life cycle assessment of built environment assets and implications for design.
Keywords: Embodied energy; embodied greenhouse gas emissions; hybrid life cycle inventory; housing; Australia.