This book provides a single-source reference for whole life embodied impacts of buildings. The comprehensive and persuasive text, written by over 50 invited experts from across the world, offers an indispensable resource both to newcomers and to established practitioners in the field. Ultimately it provides a persuasive argument as to why embodied impacts are an essential aspect of sustainable built environments.
The book is divided into four sections: measurement, including a strong emphasis on uncertainty analysis, as well as offering practical case studies of individual buildings and a comparison of materials; management, focusing in particular on the perspective of designers and contractors; mitigation, which identifies some specific design strategies as well as challenges; and finally global approaches, six chapters which describe in authoritative detail the ways in which the different regions of the world are tackling the issue.
Provides a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to embodied carbon calculation and reduction, with a particular focus on understanding uncertainty; includes examples of approaches used by industry professionals, and specific routes to embodied carbon reduction; identifies the methodologies, tools and standards in use around the world.
This paper reports on a study examining the potential of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the building sector by substituting multi-storey steel and concrete building structures with timber structures. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is applied to compare the climate change impact (CC) of a reinforced concrete (RC) benchmark structure to the CC of an alternative timber structure for four buildings ranging from 3 to 21 storeys. The timber structures are dimensioned to meet the same load criteria as the benchmark structures. The LCA comprises three calculation approaches differing in analysis perspective, allocation methods, and modelling of biogenic CO2 and carbonation of concrete. Irrespective of the assumptions made, the timber structures cause lower CC than the RC structures. By applying attributional LCA, the timber structures are found to cause a CC that is 34-84% lower than the RC structures. The large span is due to different building heights and methodological assumptions. The CC saving per m2 floor area obtained by substituting a RC structure with a timber structure decrease slightly with building height up to 12 storeys, but increase from 12 to 21 storeys. From a consequential LCA perspective, constructing timber structures can result in avoided GHG emissions, indicated by a negative CC. Compared to the RC structures, this equal savings greater than 100%.
The University of British Columbia has an interest in incorporating life cycle environmental impacts and financial information into project planning, as well as research and teaching. As part of a tall wood building research program with the UBC Sustainability Initiative and Dept. of Civil Engineering, a comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) study was done of two student high-rise residential buildings, based on the result of whole building LCA done by Athena Sustainable Materials Institute and whole building LCC done by Sensible Building Science. These buildings are of similar design but Brock Commons Tallwood House has a hybrid mass-timber structure and Ponderosa Commons Cedar House has a more traditional concrete structure. This paper will include a brief overview of the research process, data collection, analysis, and key results. The paper will then focus on the main opportunities, challenges, and lessons learned from both the results of the LCA/LCC projects and the process of conducting the study.