UK apartment construction impact on carbon life cycle calculations

Din, Asif and Brotas, Luisa (2017) UK apartment construction impact on carbon life cycle calculations. Energy Procedia, 122. pp. 15-20. ISSN 1876-6102


There is no fixed method to analyse the global warming (carbon) impact of a building envelope over its life time, however guidance is given in BS EN 15978 [1]. The paper assesses the Life Cycle stages and components in 3 archetypal construction typologies for an apartment building assessed with the BRE Green Guide [2] as a comparator. There is a difference of a factor of 4 between construction types and the position of units within an apartment block. Replacement and recycling factors significantly affect the end results with steel being highly recyclable, concrete advantageous in longevity and timber sequestering carbon at early stages. Timber does have an increased number of replacements during the life span and significant impacts at end of life stages. The BRE quantification does not take into account foundations leading to a climate change impact 3 times lower than a bottom up analysis for a steel building.

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