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Analyzing the Effect of Materials’ Selection on Energy Saving and Carbon Footprint: A Case Study Simulation of Concrete Structure Building

Authors: M. Kouhirostamkolaei, M. Kouhirostami, M. Sam, J. Woo, A. T. Asutosh, J. Li, C. Kibert


Construction is one of the most energy consumed activities in the urban environment that results in a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions around the world. Thus, the impact of the construction industry on global warming is undeniable. Thus, reducing building energy consumption and mitigating carbon production can slow the rate of global warming. The purpose of this study is to determine the amount of energy consumption and carbon dioxide production during the operation phase and the impact of using new shells on energy saving and carbon footprint. Therefore, a residential building with a re-enforced concrete structure is selected in Babolsar, Iran. DesignBuilder software has been used for one year of building operation to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide production and energy consumption in the operation phase of the building. The primary results show the building use 61750 kWh of energy each year. Computer simulation analyzes the effect of changing building shells -using XPS polystyrene and new electrochromic windows- as well as changing the type of lighting on energy consumption reduction and subsequent carbon dioxide production. The results show that the amount of energy and carbon production during building operation has been reduced by approximately 70% by applying the proposed changes. The changes reduce CO2e to 11345 kg CO2/yr. The result of this study helps designers and engineers to consider material selection’s process as one of the most important stages of design for improving energy performance of buildings.

Keywords: Construction materials, green construction, energy simulation, carbon footprint, energy saving, concrete structure, DesignBuilder.

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