Practical limitations in Embodied Energy and Carbon measurements, and how to address them: a UK case study

Gavotsis, Efstratios and Moncaster, Alice (2014). Practical limitations in Embodied Energy and Carbon measurements, and how to address them: a UK case study. In: World Sustainable Building Conference WSB14, 28-30 Oct 2014, Barcelona.

Abstract

The built environment is blamed for producing the majority of carbon emissions. While policy remains focused on emissions during the operational phase, research demonstrates that embodied impacts are a significant proportion of whole life ones. This paper presents a case study of a building that integrates low-energy design features. The study was carried out during the construction phase enabling superior quality of data to be collected. The cradle-to-grave embodied impacts were modelled to the TC350 Standards using an innovative tool, and the operational impacts through simulation, incorporating future climate predictions. In spite of the data quality, the study demonstrates a high level of uncertainty due to a number of industry-wide issues. This paper identifies these issues and concludes that considerable barriers to measuring embodied impacts remain. Key recommendations are made for industry and policy, in order to gear up the measurement and reduction of embodied impacts of buildings.

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