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A Comparative Review of existing data and methodologies for calculating embodied energy and carbon of buildings

Moncaster, AM and Song, J-Y (2012) A Comparative Review of existing data and methodologies for calculating embodied energy and carbon of buildings. International Journal of Sustainable Building Technology and Urban Development, 3. pp. 26-36.

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Abstract

In the Climate Change Act of 2008 the UK Government pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. As one step towards this, regulations are being introduced requiring all new buildings to be ‘zero carbon’ by 2019. These are defined as buildingswhichemitnetzerocarbonduringtheiroperationallifetime.However,inordertomeetthe80%targetitisnecessary to reduce the carbon emitted during the whole life-cycle of buildings, including that emitted during the processes of construction. These elements make up the ‘embodied carbon’ of the building. While there are no regulations yet in place to restrictembodiedcarbon,anumberofdifferentapproacheshavebeenmade.Thereareseveralexistingdatabasesofembodied carbonandembodiedenergy.Mostprovidedataforthematerialextractionandmanufacturingonly,the‘cradletofactorygate’ phase. In addition to the databases, various software tools have been developed to calculate embodied energy and carbon of individual buildings. A third source of data comes from the research literature, in which individual life cycle analyses of buildings are reported. This paper provides a comprehensive review, comparing and assessing data sources, boundaries and methodologies. The paper concludes that the wide variations in these aspects produce incomparable results. It highlights the areas where existing data is reliable, and where new data and more precise methods are needed. This comprehensive review will guide the future development of a consistent and transparent database and software tool to calculate the embodied energy and carbon of buildings.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: embodied energy embodied carbon life cycle assessment sustainable building sustainable construction building energy assessment
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div D > Sustainable Development
Div D > Structures
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 11:27
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2014 02:17
DOI: