Application of “Streamlined” Material Accounting to Estimate Environmental Impact
Authors: Paul Osmond
This paper reports a new application of material accounting techniques to characterise and quantify material stocks and flows at the “neighbourhood" scale. The study area is the main campus of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The system boundary is defined by the urban structural unit (USU), a typological construct devised to facilitate assessment of the metabolism of urban systems. A streamlined material flow analysis (MFA) was applied to quantify the stocks and flows of key construction materials within the campus USU over time, drawing on empirical data from a major campus development project. The results are reviewed to assess the efficacy of the method in supporting urban environmental evaluation and design practice, for example to facilitate estimation of significant impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions. It is concluded that linking a service (in this case, teaching students) enabled by a given product (university buildings) to the amount of materials used in creating that product offers a potential way to reduce the environmental impact of that service, through more efficient use of materials.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1079154Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1392
 Osmond, P. Evaluation of neighbourhood scale material flows to inform urban design. in Conférence Internationale Energie Solaire et B├ótiment (CISBAT). 2005. Lausanne, Switzerland.
 Brunner, P.H. and H. Rechberger, Practical Handbook of Material Flow Analysis. Advanced Methods in Resource and Waste Management. 2003, Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press/Lewis Publishers.
 Kleijn, R. and E. van der Voet. Material flow accounting. in Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences 4th Seminar on Industrial Ecology. 2001. Trondheim, Norway.
 Blair, J., et al., Affordability and sustainability outcomes: A triple bottom line assessment of traditional development and master planned communities. 2004, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Sydney, Australia.
 OECD. Special Session on Material Flow Accounting - Papers and Presentations. in OECD Working Group on Environmental Information and Outlooks (WGEIO). 2000. Paris: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
 Daniels, P.L. and S. Moore, Approaches for quantifying the metabolism of physical economies; Part 1: Melthodological overview. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2002. 4(4): p. 69-93.
 Thuvander, L., Towards Environmental Informatics for Building Stocks: A conceptual model for an Environmental Building Stock Information System for Sustainable Development - EBSISSD, in Built Environment & Sustainable Development. 2002, Chalmers University of Technology: Göteborg, Sweden.
 Schmidt-Bleek, F., A report by the Factor 10 Club. 1999, Factor 10 Institute: Carnoules, France.
 Spangenberg, J.H., et al., Material flow analysis, TMR and the MIPS concept: A contribution to the development of indicators for measuring changes in consumption and production patterns. International Journal of Sustainable Development, 1999. 1/2: p. 491-505.
 Pauleit, S. and F. Duhme, Assessing the metabolism of urban systems for urban planning, in Urban Ecology, J. Breuste, H. Feldmann, and O. Uhlmann, Editors. 1998, Springer: Berlin. p. 65-69.
 Osmond, P., The urban structural unit: towards a descriptive framework to support urban analysis and planning. Urban Morphology, 2010. 14(1): p. 5-20.
 Yau, R. and V. Cheng. Developing life cycle assessment tool for buildings in Hong Kong. in Sustainable Building Conference 2004. 2004. Shanghai: International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction.
 Asif, M., T. Muneer, and R. Kelley, Life cycle assessment: A case study of a dwelling home in Scotland. Building and Environment, 2007: p. 1391-1394.
 Junnila, S., A. Horvath, and A.A. Guggemos, Life-cycle assessment of office buildings in Europe and the United States. Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 2006. March.
 M├╝ller, C. Requirements on concrete for future recycling in Sustainable Construction: Concrete with Recycled Aggregates. 1998. University of Dundee.
 Kytzia, S., Material flow analysis as a tool for sustainable management of the built environment, in The Real and the Virtual Worlds of Spatial Planning, M. Koll-Schretzenmayr, M. Keiner, and G. Nussbaumer, Editors. 2003, Springer-Verlag: Berlin. p. Chapter 19.
 Junnila, S., The environmental impact of an office building throughout its life cycle, in Construction Economics and Management. 2004, Helsinki University of Technology: Helsinki.
 Bovis Lend Lease. 2005.
 Franklin Associates, Characterization of building-related construction and demolition debris in the United States. 1998, US Environmental Protection Agency: Office of Solid Waste.
 Lawson, B. Buildings as glass bottles. in 12th Annual ACSA Technology Conference, Design and Technological Innovation for the Environment. 1994. Michigan: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.
 Crowther, P., Building deconstruction in Australia, in Overview of Deconstruction in Selected Countries, C.J. Kibert and A.R. Chini, Editors. 2000, International Council for Research and Innovation in Building Construction: Rotterdam. p. 14-44.
 UNSW, University of New South Wales Environment Policy. 2005, UNSW: Sydney.
 UNSW, Environmental Management Plan 2005-2010. 2005, University of New South Wales: Sydney.
 Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends, 2007 2008
[cited 2008 8/3/2008]; Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/.
 NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, NSW Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy. 2007, New South Wales Government: Sydney.
 Treloar, G., et al., Building materials selection: greenhouse strategies for built facilities. Facilities, 2001. 19(3/4): p. 139-150.
 Flower, D.J.M. and J. Sanjayan, Green house gas emissions due to concrete manufacture International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 2007. 12(5): p. 282-288
 Horvath, A., Construction materials and the environment. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 2004. 29: p. 181-204.
 Department of Climate Change, National Greenhouse Accounts (NGA) Factors. 2008, Commonwealth of Australia: Canberra.
 Lawson, B., Building materials, energy and the environment: Towards ecologically sustainable development. 1996, Canberra: Royal Australian Institute of Architects.
 Franklin Associates, Comparative energy evaluation of plastic products and their alternatives for the building and construction and transportation industries. 1991, Prepared for the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. : USA.
 Menzies, G.F., S. Turan, and P.F.G. Banfill, Life-cycle assessment and embodied energy: a review. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Construction Materials, 2007. 160(CM4): p. 134-143.
 McEvoy, D., J. Ravetz, and J. Handley, Managing the flow of construction minerals in the North West Region of England. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2004. 8(3): p. 121-140.
 Scheuer, C., G.A. Keoleian, and P. Reppe, Life cycle energy and environmental performance of a new university building: modeling challenges and design implications. Energy and Buildings, 2003. 35 p. 1049-1064.
 Sinivuori, P. and A. Saari, MIPS analysis of natural resource consumption in two university buildings. Building and Environment, 2006. 41: p. 657-668.
 Troy, P., et al., Embodied and operational energy consumption in the city. Urban Policy and Research, 2003. 21(1): p. 9-44.
 Bradley, P.E. and N. Kohler, Methodology for the survival analysis of urban building stocks. Building Research and Information, 2007. 35(5): p. 529-542.
 Kohler, N., Integrated Life Cycle Analysis in the Sustainability Assessment of Historical Areas, in European Union Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Programme. 2003, University of Karlsruhe: Karlsruhe, Germany.