Using life cycle assessment to reduce the energy use and global warming impacts of a detached house in Melbourne, Australia

  • YEAR
    Bagley, Sheena
    Crawford, Robert H
    2015 Conference Papers
    Built Environment Performance Assessment
    Conference Papers


The aim of this study was to use a life cycle assessment (LCA) to identify the potential global warming impacts associated with the construction and on-going use of a 158 m2 single-storey house located in Melbourne, Australia. This information was then used to inform improvements to the performance of the house with the aim of minimising energy demand and associated global warming impacts across its life. A streamlined LCA approach was used to quantify inputs of energy across the entire life of the house. Embodied energy associated with the initial construction of the house as well as the replacement of materials and components throughout its assumed 50-year life were quantified using embodied energy coefficients for specific construction materials. Energy demand associated with the operation of the house over its life was determined with the use of IES-VE software. Total energy demand in primary terms was converted to global warming potential (GWP) (in t CO2-e) with the use of greenhouse gas emissions factors to provide an indication of the associated global warming impacts. The results of the analysis were then used to identify strategies for improving the environmental performance of the house, which was then reassessed to estimate the level of improvement.


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