The thermal refurbishment of the building stock is one of the most fundamental challenges of sustainable urban development. Particularly the use of natural and local materials gets an increasing relevance, regarding the embodied energy. The focus of this work is the development of systematised solutions for thermal refurbishment with...
Timber building has gained more and more attention worldwide due to it being a generic renewable material and having low environmental impact. It is widely accepted that the use of timber may be able to reduce the embodied energy of a building. However, the development of timber buildings in China...
Nowadays, it is possible to build zero-energy houses or even positive energy buildings. Nevertheless, many incoherencies exists if we attach importance to the embodied energy of its constructions. The present paper lays on the logic of structural insulat...
Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society conference
The use of timber construction products and their environmental impacts is growing in Europe. This paper examines the LCA approach adopted in the European CEN/TC350 standards, which are expected to improve the comparability and availability of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). The embodied energy and carbon (EE and EC) of timber products is discussed quantitatively, with a case study of the Forte building illustrating the significance of End-of-Life (EoL) impacts. The relative importance of timber in the context of all construction materials is analysed using a new LCA tool, Butterfly. The tool calculates EE and EC at each life cycle stage, and results show that timber products are likely to account for the bulk of the EoL impacts for a typical UK domestic building.
The objective of this project was to quantify and compare the environmental impacts associated with alternative designs for a typical North American mid-rise office building. Two scenarios were considered; a traditional cast-in-place, reinforced concrete frame and a laminated timber hybrid design, which utilized engineered wood products (cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam). The boundary of the quantitative analysis was cradle-to-construction site gate and encompassed the structural support system and the building enclosure. Floor plans, elevations, material quantities, and structural loads associated with a five-storey concrete-framed building design were obtained from issued-for-construction drawings. A functionally equivalent, laminated timber hybrid design was conceived, based on Canadian Building Code requirements. Design values for locally produced CLT panels were established from in-house material testing. Primary data collected from a pilot-scale manufacturing facility was used to develop the life cycle inventory for CLT, whereas secondary sources were referenced for other construction materials. The TRACI characterization methodology was employed to translate inventory flows into impact indicators. The results indicated that the laminated timber building design offered a lower environmental impact in 10 of 11 assessment categories. The cradle-to-gate process energy was found to be nearly identical in both design scenarios (3.5 GJ/m2), whereas the cumulative embodied energy (feedstock plus process) of construction materials was estimated to be 8.2 and 4.6 GJ/m2 for the timber and concrete designs, respectively; which indicated an increased availability of readily accessible potential energy stored within the building materials of the timber alternative.
Project contact is Ben Amor at Université de Sherbrooke
Although lifecycle analysis approaches provide a reliable reading of the importance of the embodied energy of buildings, the tool is inaccessible for evaluation in a normative framework. The purpose of the project is to establish prescriptive directives linking the role of Transition Énergie Québec (TEQ) with the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), which must ensure the quality of the work and the building safety. Similar to Part 9 of the NBC, it would be desirable to establish prescriptive rules based on know-how allowing a reasonable consideration of gray energy issues. In order to converge towards this approach, a number of tools will be considered. The various life cycle analysis methods (attributive, consequential, dynamic) (Astudillo et al., 2017) will be used, as well as more simplified approaches such as streamlined LCA (Arena et al., 2013, BellonMaurel et al. al., 2015) or simplified calculators, such as the carbon calculator that is currently being developed by Cecobois. The project will consider building carbon neutral objectives.