Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Search results for: life cycle energy analysis

2 Life Cycle Assessment of Residential Buildings: A Case Study in Canada

Authors: Venkatesh Kumar, Kasun Hewage, Rehan Sadiq

Abstract:

Residential buildings consume significant amounts of energy and produce large amount of emissions and waste. However, there is a substantial potential for energy savings in this sector which needs to be evaluated over the life cycle of residential buildings. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology has been employed to study the primary energy uses and associated environmental impacts of different phases (i.e., product, construction, use, end of life, and beyond building life) for residential buildings. Four different alternatives of residential buildings in Vancouver (BC, Canada) with a 50-year lifespan have been evaluated, including High Rise Apartment (HRA), Low Rise Apartment (LRA), Single family Attached House (SAH), and Single family Detached House (SDH). Life cycle performance of the buildings is evaluated for embodied energy, embodied environmental impacts, operational energy, operational environmental impacts, total life-cycle energy, and total life cycle environmental impacts. Estimation of operational energy and LCA are performed using DesignBuilder software and Athena Impact estimator software respectively. The study results revealed that over the life span of the buildings, the relationship between the energy use and the environmental impacts are identical. LRA is found to be the best alternative in terms of embodied energy use and embodied environmental impacts; while, HRA showed the best life-cycle performance in terms of minimum energy use and environmental impacts. Sensitivity analysis has also been carried out to study the influence of building service lifespan over 50, 75, and 100 years on the relative significance of embodied energy and total life cycle energy. The life-cycle energy requirements for SDH are found to be a significant component among the four types of residential buildings. The overall disclose that the primary operations of these buildings accounts for 90% of the total life cycle energy which far outweighs minor differences in embodied effects between the buildings.

Keywords: Building simulation, environmental impacts, life cycle assessment, life cycle energy analysis, residential buildings.

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1 The Significance of Embodied Energy in Certified Passive Houses

Authors: Robert H. Crawford, André Stephan

Abstract:

Certifications such as the Passive House Standard aim to reduce the final space heating energy demand of residential buildings. Space conditioning, notably heating, is responsible for nearly 70% of final residential energy consumption in Europe. There is therefore significant scope for the reduction of energy consumption through improvements to the energy efficiency of residential buildings. However, these certifications totally overlook the energy embodied in the building materials used to achieve this greater operational energy efficiency. The large amount of insulation and the triple-glazed high efficiency windows require a significant amount of energy to manufacture. While some previous studies have assessed the life cycle energy demand of passive houses, including their embodied energy, these rely on incomplete assessment techniques which greatly underestimate embodied energy and can lead to misleading conclusions. This paper analyses the embodied and operational energy demands of a case study passive house using a comprehensive hybrid analysis technique to quantify embodied energy. Results show that the embodied energy is much more significant than previously thought. Also, compared to a standard house with the same geometry, structure, finishes and number of people, a passive house can use more energy over 80 years, mainly due to the additional materials required. Current building energy efficiency certifications should widen their system boundaries to include embodied energy in order to reduce the life cycle energy demand of residential buildings.

Keywords: Embodied energy, Hybrid analysis, Life cycle energy analysis, Passive house.

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