Design and construction strategies for reducing embodied impacts from buildings – Case study analysis

Malmqvist, Tove; Nehasilova, Maria; Moncaster, Alice; Birgisdottir, Harpa; Nygaard Rasmussen, Freja and Potting, Jose (2018). Design and construction strategies for reducing embodied impacts from buildings – Case study analysis. Energy and Buildings, 166 pp. 35–47.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2018.01.033

Abstract

The dominance of operational energy and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of most existing buildings is decreasing in new construction, when primary fossil energy of building operation decreases as result of the implementation of energy efficiency measures as well as a decarbonisation of national energy mixes. Stakeholders therefore have a growing interest in understanding the possibilities for reducing embodied impacts in buildings. In the IEA EBC project ‘Annex 57’ a broad call for case studies was launched with the aim to identify design strategies for reducing embodied energy and GHG emissions (EEG) from buildings. The aim of this paper is to identify and provide a collected and comprehensive overview of quantitative reduction potentials of the particular EEG reduction strategies which should be considered by the stakeholders engaged in, and with the capacity to influence the outcome of, individual building projects. This is done by a systematic analysis of the Annex 57 case study collection as well as additional scientific literature. While it should be noted that the actual EEG savings at building level illustrated in this collection of studies are only applicable to each specific case, importantly this multiple cross-case analysis has provided rigorous evidence of the considerable potential to reduce embodied impacts in the design and construction of new and refurbished buildings.

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