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Challenges in evaluating strategies for reducing a building's environmental impact through Integrated Design

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Abstract

To reduce a building's impact on the environment, governments and certification boards encourage the use of innovative and collaborative design processes such as Integrated Design (ID). ID proposes upfront, stakeholder-engagement and collective decision-making to improve life-cycle building performance. Although ID's potential is theoretically well-founded, there is little empirical evidence of its effectiveness. This study seeks to validate the extent to which ID effectively improves project performance in terms of its reduction of environmental impacts. Three Canadian building projects, certified LEED and integrating various environmental strategies, are examined. The research team first identified and evaluated strategies aimed at reducing the buildings’ impacts. Then, it analysed the decision-making process and measured impact reductions comparing reference buildings, schematic designs and construction documents - using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools and Building Energy Simulations (BES). Results show a 60% reduction in global warming potential (GWP) and 62% in energy consumption in the case studies. They also underline five challenges for ID practices: tool complexity and accuracy, missing information, reducing embodied energy in high-performance buildings, poor environmental design decisions, and decision-making based on green certification credits. Opportunities to overcome these challenges include deepening professionals’ knowledge of Life Cycle Assessments and developing more effective energy simulation tools. The findings can help improve ID processes and protocols to reduce a building's impact on the environment.

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... Notwithstanding the importance of considering environmental sustainability at the design stage, several challenges hinder its incorporation in building designs. These challenges include the perceived high cost of sustainable buildings materials, limited understanding of the benefits of sustainable construction, and inadequate knowledge by professionals (Aigbavboa, Ohiomah and Zwane, 2017;Ametepey, Aigbavboa and Ansah, 2015;Leoto and Lizarralde, 2019;Nasereddin and Price, 2021;Pham and Kim, 2019;Probst et al., 2019;Safinia et al., 2017;Tabassi et al., 2016). In assessing challenges facing sustainable construction adoption in South Africa, Aigbavboa, Ohiomah and Zwane (2017) found that the assumption of additional cost and a limited understanding of the benefits of sustainable construction were among the most common barriers to sustainable construction. ...
... Several design processes which aim to achieve environmental sustainability at the design stage were also highlighted (Derrible, 2018;Kim and Kim, 2020;Lapinskienė et al., 2019;Magent et al., 2009). Subsequently, challenges hindering associated with the adoption of environmental sustainability at the design stage were highlighted and these include the perceived high cost of sustainable buildings materials, limited understanding of the benefits of sustainable construction, and inadequate knowledge by professionals Aigbavboa, Ohiomah and Zwane, 2017;Ametepey, Aigbavboa and Ansah, 2015;Leoto and Lizarralde, 2019;Nasereddin and Price, 2021;Pham and Kim, 2019;Probst et al., 2019;Safinia et al., 2017;Tabassi et al., 2016). Some suggested measure to curtail the challenges were highlighted and these include deepening professionals' knowledge and leadership competence training (Leoto and Lizarralde, 2019;Pham and Kim, 2019;Tabassi et al., 2016). ...
... Subsequently, challenges hindering associated with the adoption of environmental sustainability at the design stage were highlighted and these include the perceived high cost of sustainable buildings materials, limited understanding of the benefits of sustainable construction, and inadequate knowledge by professionals Aigbavboa, Ohiomah and Zwane, 2017;Ametepey, Aigbavboa and Ansah, 2015;Leoto and Lizarralde, 2019;Nasereddin and Price, 2021;Pham and Kim, 2019;Probst et al., 2019;Safinia et al., 2017;Tabassi et al., 2016). Some suggested measure to curtail the challenges were highlighted and these include deepening professionals' knowledge and leadership competence training (Leoto and Lizarralde, 2019;Pham and Kim, 2019;Tabassi et al., 2016). ...
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Purpose While previous studies have highlighted the importance of incorporating environmental sustainability in building designs, there is a paucity of studies that assess the extent to which design teams in developing countries consider environmental sustainability at the building design stage. Therefore, using Zambia as a case study, this study examined the extent to which infrastructure design teams in a developing country consider environmental sustainability at the design stage. Design/methodology/approach The study used a qualitative research approach using structured interviews because there are hardly any studies which have explored the extent to which designers incorporate environmental sustainability in infrastructure designs in developing countries. The data is analysed thematically using the ATLAS.ti software. Findings The results show that environmental sustainability is not an important design consideration because it is secondary to functional, technical and aesthetic considerations. Environmental considerations are also made in an ad hoc manner and when it is cost-effective for the project. Regulatory requirements pertaining to environmental protection are adhered to without any cost considerations. It was, therefore, theorised that building design teams in developing countries make technical, functional and aesthetic consideration during the infrastructure design stage ahead of environmental considerations. Originality/value There is a paucity of studies that have investigated whether building infrastructure designers consider issues of environmental sustainability at the design stage in developing countries. The findings have practical implications on how developing countries can foster environmental sustainability at the design stage and avoid generating a building infrastructure stock that will require environmental resilience adaptation in the future.
... Methods such as Integrated Design (ID) and IDP, promote early-stage engagement of stakeholders, interdisciplinary and simultaneous collaboration, and collective decision-making. However, although ID is theoretically well-founded, its implementation in practice currently lacks due to tool complexity, missing information and poor design decisions (Leoto & Lizarralde, 2019). Integrated design is performed by a multidisciplinary design team where all relevant disciplines are activated from the beginning of the design process. ...
... Many assessment methods have been developed to evaluate building performance, as well as to raise awareness, enable goal formulation and provide DDS (Lützkendorf, 2018). Existing methods for building performance assessment in the early design stages face a series of challenges including that simulation data is often not available (Leoto & Lizarralde, 2019;Østergård et al., 2016), that the tools are perceived as overly complicated, and that result interpretation requires specialized knowledge (S. Attia et al., 2009;Pieter de Wilde, 2019;Leoto & Lizarralde, 2019;Weytjens, Attia, Verbeeck, & De Herde, 2011). ...
... Existing methods for building performance assessment in the early design stages face a series of challenges including that simulation data is often not available (Leoto & Lizarralde, 2019;Østergård et al., 2016), that the tools are perceived as overly complicated, and that result interpretation requires specialized knowledge (S. Attia et al., 2009;Pieter de Wilde, 2019;Leoto & Lizarralde, 2019;Weytjens, Attia, Verbeeck, & De Herde, 2011). ...
Article
Research and practice agree that decisions taken early in a project have a higher impact and are less costly. Current building performance assessment methods are not suited to accommodate the responsiveness required for early design processes and are often used for validation in the later stages where the feedback has little design impact. Tools developed specifically for early-stage Design Decision Support (DDS) are either too simplistic, provide no solution to addressing combined indoor environmental quality (IEQ), or risk worsening the overall IEQ by optimizing performance indicators in isolation. Most comprehensive building assessment methods evaluate several topics but follow a linear approach which fails to support holistic performance feedback and fails to meet the demand for assessment speed. This paper presents application examples of a holistic IEQ assessment tool (IEQCompass) in design processes. Design experiments demonstrate that the applied approach can meet the challenges of early-stage DDS pointed out in existing literature. Findings from the experiments indicate that the IEQCompass can provide: (1) seamless early-stage assessments through rapid-feedback on changing designs, (2) timely decision support by guiding design teams with criteria overviews, design comparisons and holistic assessment results and (3) dialogue and communication support between architects, engineers and clients.
... A systematic approach to sustainable building considers the local climate and raw resources. Aside from that, sustainable construction projects employ modern technologies that decrease limited resource consumption, ecological footprints, and related life cycle costs [5,[9][10][11]. The advantages of sustainable construction are classified into three categories: economic, environmental, and social [12]. Economic advantages include increased rent and sales returns, elevated residence levels and efficiency, and lower long-term expenses [13]. ...
... Incentives for sustainable buildings (e.g., loans, taxes, rebates, and grants) are accessible in Canada and evaluated in terms of energy performance [28]. The inducements to stimulate green and sustainable development in the private sector in the US, on the other hand, were briefly described [10]. In addition, sustainability drivers for real estate securities were investigated [29]. ...
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Abstract: As a fundamental feature of green building cost forecasting, external support is crucial. However, minimal research efforts have been directed to developing practical models for determining the impact of external public and private support on green construction projects’ costs. To fill the gap, the current research aims to develop a mathematical model to explore the balance of supply and demand under deflationary conditions for external green construction support and the accompanying spending adjustment processes. The most current datasets from 3578 green projects across Northern America were collected, pre-processed, analyzed, post-processed, and evaluated via cutting-edge machine learning (ML) techniques to retrieve the deep parameters affecting the green construction cost prediction process. According to the findings, public and private investments in green constructions are projected to decrease the cost of green buildings. Furthermore, the impact of public and private investment on green construction cost reduction during deflationary periods is more significant than its influence during inflation. As a result, decision-makers may utilize the suggested model to monitor and evaluate the yearly optimal external investment in green building construction. Keywords: green construction projects; external support; cost prediction; machine learning
... Under normal circumstances, operational energy outweighs embodied energy in buildings. However, depending on the composition of a building, embodied energy can range up to 60% of the total energy spent, especially when the operational energy requirement is low [11]. Understanding the relationship between operational and embodied energy is imperative to reducing the overall carbon [9] due to its Pareto optimal nature [12]. ...
... In addition, the embodied energy range is highly dependent on the operational requirements and can vary between 9% and 38% when conventional systems are used [16]. Despite varying percentages based on different case studies, the consensus of the literature would suggest that Leoto and Lizarralde's [11] statement is accurate. When considering construction, refurbishment, and demolition over 50-years, the total energy consumption figures alter to 45% and 55% from embodied energy and operational energy, respectively [17,18]. ...
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Embodied energy has a significant effect on the total environmental impact of a project. However, emphasis is often placed primarily on operational energy, resulting in a knowledge gap about the current state of embodied energy use in affordable housing. To address this, the study investigates the level of embodied energy consumption in affordable housing, as well as the drivers, barriers, and techniques to reduce embodied energy. Based on a single embedded case study covering the period from cradle to end of construction, data were collected using embodied energy calculations of three affordable housing units in the project, semi-structured interviews with five design team members, and a cross-examination of findings with contract documents. The results were analysed using sensitivity analysis and thematic analysis. The findings revealed that all three house units fulfilled the baseline embodied carbon target of 800 kg CO2/m2 and both detached properties fell within the LETI (2020) target of 500 kg CO2/m2. However, all three properties would fail to meet the RIBA or 2030 LETI target of 300 kg CO2/m2. This suggests that improvements are necessary to achieve future targets. The results show that financial capabilities and operational energy prioritisation act as the main enabler and barrier for reducing embodied energy. Local contractors/suppliers, minimising material use or intensity, and modular construction were highlighted as the key reduction techniques that can be used to help achieve future targets concerning embodied carbon in residential developments. The study contributes significantly to understanding the current state of embodied energy use in affordable housing and provides new insights on how to deal with embodied energy if we are to meet future energy targets.
... Sustainability assessment on walls has been carried out by other authors (LOTTEAU et al., 2015;LEOTO;LIZARRALDE, 2019;MONTEIRO;FREIRE, 2012). However, these tools should be used individually so we are able to adopt the most appropriate strategy for each building (LEOTO; LIZARRALDE, 2019; REZAEI; BULLE; LESAGE, 2019). ...
... Sustainability assessment on walls has been carried out by other authors (LOTTEAU et al., 2015;LEOTO;LIZARRALDE, 2019;MONTEIRO;FREIRE, 2012). However, these tools should be used individually so we are able to adopt the most appropriate strategy for each building (LEOTO; LIZARRALDE, 2019; REZAEI; BULLE; LESAGE, 2019). ...
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Wall systems have a wide range of embodied energy due to the diversity of materials available. This paper analyzes the expenditure of energy and carbon dioxide emissions in internal and external wall systems (IEWS) of a rural residence of social interest in Cascavel, state of Paraná, Brazil. The methodology proposed by NBR ISO 14040 was used to perform a life-cycle energy assessment (LCEA) and the carbon dioxide emissions assessment (LCCO2A) of these systems. Four scenarios were considered: reinforced concrete structure and ceramic blocks wall system, load-bearing masonry with concrete blocks, steel framing and reinforced concrete walls molded on site. As a result, it was found that it is possible to reduce energy consumption up to 25% by opting for reinforced concrete walls molded on site. In regards to CO2 emission, it was verified that the difference is even greater, being able to reduce emissions by almost 32% when opting for this same scenario.
... Proper assessment is an important part of integrated design [1], and it is usually applied to aid the decision making (DM) during integrated design [34]. As the most popular assessment system for green building, GBRTs encourage integrated design and there are more or less relevant credits in various rating systems. ...
Article
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Integrated design of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) is indispensable to green design because the increasing demand for HVAC systems has led to the diversification of indoor terminals for residential buildings, either focusing on energy efficiency or specializing in creating comfortable indoor environments, and they have different impacts on architectural and engineering design. The paper discussed the assessment-based integration design of the HVAC system, and by introducing case experiences, the whole process of the collaboration between architects and engineers was explored. Various methods were used in the research. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was employed to develop the assessment structure and calculate weightings; employing fuzzy comprehensive evaluation (FCE), the social performances of HVAC systems were subjectively evaluated; simulation technology was used to calculate the energy performances; the final results were ranked by the order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS). The research perspective of the collaboration between architects and engineers contributed to the existing literature. Besides, different indoor terminals were analyzed from the two disciplines; an assessment tool (ATI) was conducted and could be referred to; the current green building rating tools were analyzed, and suggestions were proposed to promote the integrated design.
... Other tools, such as carbon accounting, also have great potential for integration into construction procurement processes. For example, energy modelling tools predict energy performance and associated operational carbon emissions for buildings, optimising the design by allowing users to undertake detailed calculations of the operating energy required to achieve a given performance [22]. Although operational carbon emissions associated with energy use can be calculated based on the energy model, the whole-of-life embodied carbon function is not included in energy modelling tools. ...
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In light of climate change, the construction industry plays a crucial part in alleviating carbon emissions and other environmental impacts. The focus on improving the public procurement process poses an important opportunity for the successful implementation of carbon reduction strategies in construction projects. There is a growing body of literature mapping green and sustainable procurement practices in construction. However, previous studies have not treated the implementation of procurement in a particular area, such as carbon reduction, in much detail. This study aims to investigate the implementation of construction procurement incorporating carbon reduction strategies, with a specific focus on the public sector in New Zealand. The research was conducted through 13 semi-structured interviews with construction procurement experts in New Zealand. The results shed light on the current implementation of carbon reduction strategies in construction procurement and its challenges, such as a lack of knowledge and ambiguous procurement guidelines and documents. It also emphasises the importance of (1) well-developed carbon reduction evaluation criteria, (2) specifying a budget for carbon-related initiatives, and (3) the prerequisite of a high level of innovation in the procurement document. The study adds to the rapidly expanding field of carbon reduction construction procurement by providing a deeper insight into the way carbon reduction strategies are effectively implemented in the procurement process.
... In the study of Ricardo et al. [147], the extent to which the integrated design can effectively improve project performance and reduce environmental impacts was verified. ...
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In recent years, increasingly prominent energy and environmental problems have pushed for higher requirements for buildings’ energy saving. According to the conventional energy-saving design method, the cooperative operation between architects, structural and equipment engineers and other professionals cannot run smoothly, so the energy-saving and emission reduction efficiency of the whole building cannot be improved effectively. The integrated design process (IDP) is a systematic method, which is applied in the scheme design stage and according to which the multi-level design factors of cities and buildings are considered comprehensively. It provides a concrete path of multi-specialty collaborative operation for the building’s climate responsive design. In this article, the development, operation process, software platform, evaluation and decision-making methods of the IDP are reviewed in a comprehensive manner. Finally, the prospect of IDP applied to the climate responsive design of buildings is analyzed, and some suggestions for future development are put forward. The IDP framework proposed in the research can provide a reference method for architectural climate responsive design practice and help formulate the future policy of energy-saving design.
... Merging low carbon materials and reducing environmental impact from production and construction, using renewable materials and technologies has become an exciting and achievable target for many governments worldwide (Leoto and Lizarralde 2019). The construction sector is responsible for significant emissions (23% of the CO 2 emissions worldwide) and is aiming to use more renewable and sustainable materials (OECD 2019). ...
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Purpose The construction sector is interested in considering environmental implications as necessary criteria for sustainability. In this regard, wood materials, especially engineering wood, are a promising choice for sustainable buildings. In some countries such as Malaysia, timber is rarely considered in the construction sector despite there being abundant access to wood. This is because of the scarcity of timber structures and the dominance of alternative materials such as steel and concrete. The cross-laminated timber-steel composite introduced in this research benefits both the wood and the steel markets leading to standardization and a more extensive market. At the same time, it contributes to environmentally friendly requirements. The main objective was to investigate timber applications in local construction and make proposals for its promotion. The new specimen described here could potentially enhance the strength of timber beams using steel plates. Four current structural methods have been chosen based on environmental and economic comparisons with a new composite structure. Methods The life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost (LCC) have been used to compare the performance of four current conventional structures. Results and discussion The results showed that the new proposed structure has lower emissions in all environmental categories, namely, Global Warming Potential (GWP), Human Carcinogenic Toxicity (HCT), Fossil Depletion Potential (FDP), Ozone Layer Depletion (OLD), Terrestrial Acidification (TA) and embodied energy. The results of the LCC are consistent with the environmental issue as the new composite has a lower cost over its entire life span. Conclusions The new structure provides a novel and sustainable alternative for the construction industry.
... Other authors, such as Rana et al. [50], reviewed the incentives, such as taxes, loans, grants and rebates, available for sustainable buildings in Canada, although they only focused on energy performance. The review by Circo [15] only describes incentives to encourage green building in the private sector in the United States. Falkenbach et al. [51] analysed sustainability drivers for real estate investors. ...
Article
In recent years, research findings and pronouncements by international organisations have recognised the usefulness and timeliness of advancing public policies to promote sustainable building. However, in many parts of the world, governmental measures have limited their scope mainly to energy efficiency in housing use. In the same vein, some experiences in different countries have revealed the need to study further governmental or stimulation drivers that can boost sustainability in building, renovation, and dwellings. This paper aims to contribute to the design of public policies that promote sustainable building. Our paper seeks to identify specific drivers that can help governments boost sustainability in building, renovation, and dwellings through a multi-stakeholder survey. Our findings show the specific drivers to be of three types: fiscal, financial, and government interventions. It is the respondents’ opinion that public policies can help promote sustainable housing. Financial drivers are the most highly rated, followed by fiscal drivers and then government interventions.
... LCAs have been conducted in the prior studies for comparing the energy-based indicators used in the different LCA tools for buildings [4], assessing the induced impacts for the urban region [5], developing a framework for the pre-use phase of buildings [6], and determining the impact of progressive sustainable target value assessment on the building design decisions [7]. Similarly, LCAs were performed for evaluating the sustainability of environmentally friendly materials (e.g., hemp concrete and industrialized bamboo) in the building projects [8,9], identifying the challenges in evaluating strategies for reducing a building's environmental impact [10], establishing the strategies for increasing the sustainability performance of buildings [11], assessing the embodied greenhouse gas emissions of building materials [12], determining the source of environmental changes at the neighborhoods [13], and calculating the embodied carbon of residential housing at the urban scale [14]. ...
Article
The interest toward life cycle assessment studies in the construction industry has been increasing in the last decades. However, there is no existing study that focuses on mapping the scientific research of the LCAs in the construction industry with a comprehensive understanding. Hence, an expansive and macro level review of the LCAs within the subject domain is needed to fulfill this gap in the literature. The research objective of this study is to reveal the status quo, hot topics and keywords, and emerging areas of the LCA research in the construction industry. For this purpose, a systematic bibliometric and scientometric analyses were conducted by referring 2885 bibliometric records published between 1997 and 2021 (end of February). The analysis indicated the countries China, USA and Spain as the most productive countries in the field. Additionally, hot keywords in the domain revealed as ‘energy’, ‘environmental impact’, ‘sustainability’, ‘performance’, ‘emission’, ‘building’, ‘system’, ‘design’, ‘concrete’. ‘Circular economy’, ‘mechanical property’, and ‘footprint’ are found as the emerging areas of this field. Document co-citation clusters showed the hot research themes of the domain as building information modeling (BIM), energy performance, construction and demolition waste, carbonation, water supply, bridge design, optimization, pavement management, ventilation and design assessment. The results of this research make a significant contribution to the scientific community and industry practitioners by providing an inclusive understanding of the recent status, hot keywords and topics, and emerging areas of life cycle assessment in the construction industry. Further, this study would be a useful and valuable reference and guideline for the researchers interested in this field.
... The objective of this study is to assess a comparative LCA and to determine and quantify the environmental impacts between a green wall and green facade compared to a reference wall, in order to benchmark with other green walls systems by comparing environmental performance and energy consumption with real data from the experimental set-up. The lifetime considered is 50 years, which is the expected life of a building [50]. ...
Article
The building and construction sector is a large contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and consumes vast natural resources. Improvements in this sector are of fundamental importance for national and global targets to combat climate change. In this context, vertical greenery systems (VGS) in buildings have become popular in urban areas to restore green space in cities and be an adaptation strategy for challenges such as climate change. However, only a small amount of knowledge is available on the different VGS environmental impacts. This paper discusses a comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) between a building with green walls, a building with green facades and a reference building without any greenery system in the continental Mediterranean climate. This life cycle assessment is carried according to ISO 14040/44 using ReCiPe and GWP indicators. Moreover, this study fills this gap by thoroughly tracking and quantifying all impacts in all phases of the building life cycle related to the manufacturing and construction stage, maintenance, use stage (operational energy use experimentally tested), and final disposal. The adopted functional unit is the square meter of the facade. Results showed that the operational stage had the highest impact contributing by up to 90% of the total environmental impacts during its 50 years life cycle. Moreover, when considering VGS, there is an annual reduction of about 1% in the environmental burdens. However, in summer, the reduction is almost 50%. Finally, if the use stage is excluded, the manufacturing and the maintenance stage are the most significant contributors, especially in the green wall system.
... In recent decades, scientists around the world have been looking for solutions that would significantly reduce the environmental impact of construction. There are many works devoted to this topic in the literature [29][30][31][32][33][34]. Despite a considerable presence in the literature, there are still many problems to be solved. ...
Article
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Life cycle assessment is an environmental method which estimates either a process or a building material within the cradle-to-grave cycle. Presently, it is one of a few tools that include all factors which may influence the environment. The authors used this tool to prove effects connected with potential efficient energy levels and a reduction in CO2 emissions within a building’s life cycle. For the purpose of our analyses, several types of single-family building were chosen and they were subjected to analysis in the fixed location of Warsaw. The research scope included a numerical analysis of the buildings concerning the level of embodied energies and the emission of greenhouse gases. The performed analysis proved that, within a 50-year cycle, the difference between the embodied energy from the best and worst building choices can amount to 14.87%, whereas a reduction in embodied carbon emissions can reach 20.65%. Each change in the building’s form and the type of building materials used, regardless of the usable area, influence the environmental impact. Therefore, this paper concludes that LCA, as a management tool, should be used cyclically as part of each phase of the design process. A multi-criteria method for selecting architectural solutions was proposed which considered minimum cumulative primary energy, minimum cumulative carbon emission and minimum cost of constructing a building.
... A selection of any interior lighting solution is based on a number of lighting and non-lighting criteria, both objective and subjective. The objective assessment of the interior lighting is usually based on checking if it meets the requirements for photometric parameters, e.g., [1,2] The objective assessment of non-lighting parameters may concern: Energy efficiency, e.g., [3,4], environmental impact, e.g., [5,6], or lighting cost, e.g., [7,8]. The basic subjective assessment of lighting is a visual evaluation and directly applies to the lighting effects connected to the brightness distribution in the interior, e.g., [9,10]. ...
Article
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This article compares the brightness and uniformity perception of virtual corridor displayed on computer screens and under different surrounding conditions, between two groups of respondents. The computer simulations of 10 lighting scenarios in the empty corridor, diverse in terms of luminance distribution and lighting power density, were developed. The visual assessment of the lighting effects was carried out on the basis of surveys. The respondents assessed the brightness and uniformity of each plane and entire corridor for each scenario, using semantic differential scaling. Each person from the first group individually made their evaluations on the same computer screen placed in the experimental box. Each person from the second group made the assessments on different computer screens, and all respondents from this group made the evaluations in the computer room at the same time. A high convergence of the results between the groups was found in the assessments of brightness and uniformity perception for consecutive lighting situations. In 93.75% of cases, the same perception in brightness and uniformity between the group means was achieved. A high convergence of the results between the groups in the assessment of brightness and uniformity perception for the same lighting situations was also demonstrated.
... Integrated design processes have been proposed to enable the design and implementation of sustainable buildings in practice, supporting communication and the exchange of relevant information amongst the various stakeholders [90]. This is true for all kinds of building projects, but especially important for the development of net zero emission buildings and neighbourhoods. ...
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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is increasingly used for decision-making in the design process of buildings and neighbourhoods. Therefore, visualisation of LCA results to support interpretation and decision-making becomes more important. The number of building LCA tools and the published literature has increased substantially in recent years. Most of them include some type of visualisation. However, there are currently no clear guidelines and no harmonised way of presenting LCA results. In this paper, we review the current state of the art in vis-ualising LCA results to provide a structured overview. Furthermore, we discuss recent and potential future developments. The review results show a great variety in visualisation options. By matching them with common LCA goals we provide a structured basis for future developments. Case studies combining different kinds of visualisations within the design environment, interactive dashboards, and immersive technologies, such as virtual reality, show a big potential for facilitating the interpretation of LCA results and collaborative design processes. The overview and recommendations presented in this paper provide a basis for future development of intuitive and design-integrated visualisation of LCA results to support decision-making.
... 12,13 Multi-pronged strategies to reduce the environmental burdens of building materials have been proposed, beginning with building design. [14][15][16] During later value chain stages, such as construction and waste treatment, site monitoring with pollution and emissions controls have helped to mitigate environmental burdens. 17,18 Building material recycling efforts also occur throughout the value chain stages. ...
Article
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Urbanization and population growth have contributed to a tripling of building material consumption from 2000 to 2017. Building materials have a range of environmental impacts throughout their life cycle, from extraction, processing, and transport of raw materials to building construction, use, and eventual demolition and waste. Mitigation measures that target specific materials or value chain stages may therefore have incremental or even adverse net environmental effects. In this perspective, we develop a framework for applying life cycle thinking to identify key impacts and corresponding mitigation approaches, inform building design and material selection, and ensure effective treatment and recycling of construction and demolition wastes. Life cycle evaluation can also be used to assess and avoid environmental trade-offs among life cycle stages. Challenges for implementing these life cycle principles include collecting and integrating inventory data for products, managing multiple stakeholders within the construction industry, and monitoring end-of-life impacts; measures for overcoming such challenges are discussed.
... With ongoing urbanization and societies growing wealthier and more active, the demand for lighting systems is increasing. The large scale use of artificial lighting forces us to search for the solutions that are energy-efficient [3][4][5], environmentally friendly [6,7], and economically rational [8,9]. These three aspects are very important while evaluating any lighting solution. ...
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The common use of electric lighting in interiors has led to the need to search for user- and environmentally-friendly solutions. In this research, the impact of the luminaires and room parameters on the selected parameters of general lighting in interiors was assessed. To achieve the objective of this work, a computer simulation and statistical analysis of results were conducted. The illuminance uniformity on work plane, ceiling and wall relative illuminances, utilance, and normalized power density of lighting installations for 432 situations were analyzed in detail. The scenarios were varied in terms of room size, reflectance, lighting class, luminaire downward luminous intensity distribution, and layout. The lighting class was a factor having the highest impact on ceiling and wall illumination, utilance, and power. It was also shown that the impact of lighting class on ceiling illumination, utilance and power, was different in interiors of various sizes. The impact of reflectances and luminaire layouts on the analyzed parameters was significantly lower. The results also demonstrated that the use of different lighting classes gave the possibility of reducing the power of general lighting in interiors at a level of 30% on average. Based on the results, a classification of energy efficiency in general lighting in interiors was also proposed. Understanding the correlations between the lighting system used and the effects achieved is helpful in obtaining comfortable and efficient lighting solutions in interiors.
... With the rapid increase in population and urbanization, energy shortage and environmental problems are two major global issues that need to be urgently resolved [1][2][3][4]. Energy consumption in buildings accounts for approximately one-third of the total annual energy consumption all over the word [5][6][7][8][9][10]. Studies show that the physical characteristics, such as shape, external structure, and internal system, of buildings are the key factors affecting building energy consumption [11][12][13]. ...
Article
Although pitchstone (Ps) can be used to construct expanded and vitrified small balls (EVSBs) for building thermal insulation materials, the processing of the EVSBs requires substantial amounts of energy and produces many unusable tailings. The complete utilization of Ps resources in an energy-efficient manner is still challenging. In this study, a novel inorganic thermal insulation board was prepared by Ps powder through a chemical foaming method at room temperature and heat treatment method at 400 °C. The influence of sodium silicate solution on Ps powder mass ratio, surfactant content, foaming agent dosage, and that of low-temperature heat treatment process on the performance of the samples of the insulation material were systematically studied. Accordingly, the thermal conductivity (TC), density, and compressive strength (CS) of the samples could be engineered in the 0.114–0.270 g/cm³, 0.051–0.086 W/(m·K), and 0.12–1.46 MPa ranges, respectively, by modifying the abovementioned factors. Therefore, this work provides an energy-efficient way for the complete utilization of Ps resources.
... Building façade is one of the major components of a building with direct impacts on its energy consumption and indoor comfort conditions where architectural design expressions also materialize. Integrated design has been shown to have a 60% reduction in global warming potential (GWP) and 62% in energy consumption in LEED certified selected case studies in Canada (Leoto and Lizarralde, 2019). Integrated Façade Systems (IFS) can be classified as façade systems where different technological solutions are incorporated to improve the façade performance and lower building's environmental impacts. ...
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Purpose-This paper aims to explore the potential capabilities of the application of computing features (CFs) in resolving the most common issues that adversely affect performance in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) projects. Design/methodology/approach-Through a comprehensive review of the literature, 10 most significant CFs were identified. Also, the 15 most prevalent issues in AEC projects (AECIs), for which computers can provide remedial solutions, were determined and categorized into three phases of design, construction and operation. Potential impacts of each CF on handling AECIs in each of the three stages were assessed based on experts' perceptions. Findings-CFs are ranked based on their potential on solving the identified AECIs. So too, the order of the most common AECIs is provided in terms of their disposition for being solved by CFs. In this regard, findings reveal that the most effective CF in addressing AECIs is "artificial intelligence" and the most solvable AECI by using CFs is "increased costs and poor budgeting." Furthermore, the most appropriate CF to handle each AECI is specified, as a result of which, it is inferred CFs are more effective in handling operation-related issues, compared to design, construction phases. Practical implications-The results can provide a profound insight into software/tool selection based on features that enable technological tools and programs to handle AECIs in the three major phases of projects. Moreover, technology providers and vendors are provided with a benchmark to supply products according to the demands of the AEC industry. The study provides a readily available point of reference for practitioners in selecting various CFs for handling common AECIs that affect their projects. Originality/value-A large body of research is available on the evaluation of various computer-based technologies and tools. Nevertheless, little, if any, study exists that explores the potential of underlying CFs of these technologies in addressing endemic problems across various stages of AEC projects. This study is one of the first in its kind that shifts to exploring various CFs, as the main enablers of computer technologies, establish links between these CFs and common issues of projects and assesses the potential of various CFs in addressing common problems of construction projects.
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The role of targets in delivering meaningful performance improvements for designing new buildings and retrofitting existing building stocks is important. A piecemeal approach of incomprehensive assessments around insignificant changes falls short of achieving deep cuts in impacts. Most of the current assessments are not based on well-defined performance targets. The chapter is centered around exploring the utility of the concept of planetary boundaries for setting well-grounded benchmarking systems in guiding the transformation of the built environment that significantly contributes to the overall environmental impact of the economy. It discusses the role of life cycle assessment, environmental product declarations and product category rules, and how these and relevant standards and guides can be used in tandem with tools and processes used in design offices such as building information modeling. It concludes by charting the need for research on taking concepts such as planetary boundaries to building level benchmarking systems that support better design practices.
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This paper asks whether after 20years of development, the new discipline of environmental impact assessment and rating has lost its way. The paper shows examples of problems in building environmental rating systems, and corrupted science in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Ecolabelling and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD). Comparisons are drawn with carbon accounting and the problems this will cause for government policies aimed at mitigating climate change internationally. The author speculates on possible causes and provides contrasting examples of initiatives that are trying to produce truly credible, scientifically robust outcomes but struggling to find acceptance. The author concludes with suggestions that might tip environmental impact practice back to legitimacy and relevance.
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Towards the EPBD recast 2010/31/EU and the nearly zero energy building (nZEB), this review addresses the whole life cycle energy analysis of residential buildings. Life Cycle Energy Analysis (LCEA) of 90 case studies of residential buildings is evaluated with a specific focus on the normalization procedure that follows the principles of Product Category Rule (PCR) 2014:02 for buildings. The normalization procedure provided a minimization of the sample by considering issues of comparability, the omissions in the boundaries of the system, the LCI method and the updating on the energy efficiency definition of the building. Results indicate that the use of different LCI methods leads to an important fluctuation in the absolute values of embodied energy as the embodied energy of annZEB calculated with process analysis is lower than every case study calculated with hybrid input-output analysis without including nZEBs. The share of embodied energy in low energy buildings could reach up to 57% -or even up to 83% when renewable energy sources are used for electricity production- and in nZEBs up to 100% even though a significant reduction in the total life cycle energy is identified. The increase in embodied energy and a difference of at least 17% in the share of embodied energy between low energy and nearly zero energy buildings indicate that maybe LCEA should be considered in energy efficiency regulations along with further standardization.
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Purpose Life cycle assessment (LCA) has not been widely applied in the building design process because it is perceived to be complex and time-consuming. There is a high demand for simplified approaches that architects can use without detailed knowledge of LCA. This paper presents a parametric LCA approach, which allows architects to efficiently reduce the environmental impact of building designs. Methods First, the requirements for design-integrated LCA are analyzed. Then, assumptions to simplify the required data input are made and a parametric model is established. The model parametrizes all input, including building geometry, materials, and boundary conditions, and calculates the LCA in real time. The parametric approach possesses the advantage that input parameters can be adjusted easily and quickly. The architect has two options to improve the design: either through manually changing geometry, building materials, and building services, or through the use of an optimization solver. The parametric model was implemented in a parametric design software and applied using two cases: (a) the design of a new multi-residential building, and (b) retrofitting of a single-family house. Results and discussion We have successfully demonstrated the capability of the approach to find a solution with minimum environmental impact for both examples. In the first example, the parametric method is used to manually compare geometric design variants. The LCA is calculated based on assumptions for materials and building services. In the second example, evolutionary algorithms are employed to find the optimum combination of insulation material, heating system, and windows for retrofitting. We find that there is not one optimum insulation thickness, but many optima, depending on the individual boundary conditions and the chosen environmental indicator. Conclusions By incorporating a simplified LCA into the design process, the additional effort of performing LCA is minimized. The parametric approach allows the architect to focus on his main task of designing the building and finally makes LCA practically useful for design optimization. In the future, further performance analysis capabilities such as life cycle costing can also be integrated.
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While the paradigm of sustainable development has largely influenced architecture projects worldwide, Green Building Certifications (GBCs) have become the new (increasingly mandatory) standard of project performance. Numerous studies have concentrated on the influence of sustainable development (SD) in the final product: the building. However, more research is still needed in order to understand how GBCs have influenced building processes, particularly collaboration and innovation within architecture projects. In order to fill this gap, this study presents results from 19 interviews with professionals in the built environment and examines three architecture projects conducted in Canada that received a widely popular GBC and were significantly influenced by SD principles during the design and building process. The research applies recent frameworks for exploring stakeholders’ interests on GBCs and the collaboration and innovation practices developed by them. Research results show that processes within these projects are shaped by at least four tensions that can either enhance or hinder collaboration and innovation: strategic-tactical, collaborative-competitive, participative-effective and individual-collective. The study highlights the importance of understanding GBC as a process and not only as a final outcome, and thus, to better manage these tensions so that they contribute to product and process performance.
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Concerning net zero energy buildings, providing early design support for architects has never been more important. In this context, building performance simulation tools could be a strong supportive technique, when integrated early in the architectural design process. However, despite the available range of tools, most of them do not meet the architects’ requirements. To identify this gap, this study compared the ‘architect-friendliness’ of six state-of-the-art simulation tools, to highlight the architects’requirements for these tools and to develop guidelines for researchers and tool developers. The examined tools included ECOTECT, IES/VE – Sketch-Up, Energy10, eQuest, HEED, and Design Builder. The analysis was based on an extensive list of criteria defining the user-friendliness of tools from an architect’s point of view. The results show that no single tool is entirely adequate to assist the architect’s decision-making process. One of the major limitations is the poor communication and visualization of the output results.
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Value generation is defined as meeting client requirements while minimizing waste. Researchers concur on the issues related to sequential design in handling client requirements, and suggest the use of an integrated design approach as an alternative. Little has been said, however, about the impact of adopting integrated design's work organization to traditional design practice, processes and tools, nor about the importance of breaking down socio-cognitive barriers related to mental model fragmentation between design professionals, clients and users. This may result in cognitive inertia, a major source of waste. The objective of this research is to develop and test the introduction of boundary objects, such as new technologies, to the context of integrated teams and organizations to break the cognitive inertia that hinders value generation. The research is conclusive about the effectiveness of using boundary objects to transform practices in construction. This research also contributes to a better understanding of the new purposes of construction projects by framing its context and process dimensions within a theoretical framework, as well as to the evolution of practices in construction – and of practices that could be applicable to other fields.
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This article aims to stimulate discussion about the issue of rigor in conducting reviews of multivocal literatures. Multivocal literatures, which abound in the field of education, are comprised of all accessible writings on a common, often contemporary topic. The exploratory case study method is proposed as a means to engender rigor in reviews of such literatures. It is argued that it is appropriate to apply the concept of rigor to reviews of multivocal literatures and to use the exploratory case study method as a tool for thinking about procedures that could enhance rigor in such reviews. The article draws upon the authors’ experiences in conducting a review of the literature on school-based management to illustrate how the proposed procedures might be employed.
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With the increasing demand for more energy efficient buildings, the construction industry is faced with the challenge to ensure that the energy performance predicted during the design stage is achieved once a building is in use. There is, however, significant evidence to suggest that buildings are not performing as well as expected and initiatives such as PROBE and CarbonBuzz aim to illustrate the extent of this so called ‘performance gap’. This paper discusses the underlying causes of discrepancies between energy modelling predictions and in-use performance of occupied buildings (after the twelve month liability period). Many of the causal factors relate to the use of unrealistic input parameters regarding occupancy behaviour and facilities management in building energy models. In turn, this is associated with the lack of feedback to designers once a building has been constructed and occupied.The paper aims to demonstrate how knowledge acquired from Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) can be used to produce more accurate energy performance models. A case study focused specifically on lighting, small power and catering equipment in a high density office building is analysed and presented. Results show that by combining monitoring data with predictive energy modelling, it was possible to increase the accuracy of the model to within 3% of actual electricity consumption values. Future work will seek to use detailed POE data to develop a set of evidence based benchmarks for energy consumption in office buildings. It is envisioned that these benchmarks will inform designers on the impact of occupancy and management on the actual energy consumption of buildings. Moreover, it should enable the use of more realistic input parameters in energy models, bringing the predicted figures closer to reality.
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Sustainable building (SB) aims at the required building performance with minimum adverse environmental impact, while encouraging improvements in economic, social and cultural circumstances. The role of design is essential in interpreting and solving these complicated multilevel requirements. This article analyses current design management practices in Finnish construction projects. The aim was to define the challenges that SB brings to the role of the chief designer (stated in the Finnish building code) and to understand how a chief designer contributes towards SB. Study found that the role is defined and practiced mostly as a technical supervisor. The general shared definition of a more fundamental meaning of the role is shallow. The means and mechanisms of performing the task, however, rely on social interaction, influencing and leadership. A lot more power and effect could be got out of design management if these would be consciously involved. SB does not necessarily create more tasks but it affects several existing tasks by bringing new substance to be considered in the design decisions. The key impact that the chief designer can make is created through successful leadership of human creative competence.
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Purpose Traditional management systems sometimes struggle to meet the unique demands of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects. Consequently, contractors have to modify their management practices. The purpose of this paper is to explore the management practices necessary to achieve successful implementation of LEED projects. Design/methodology/approach LEED project management practices implemented by six US contractors from the Top 100 Green Contractors list published by the Engineering News and Record , were analysed using structured case study interviews. An additional case study probed management practices implemented on a LEED‐GOLD project. Findings Findings support the implementation of management practices classified using the six Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria of leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce focus and operation focus. Research limitations/implications The qualitative study was based on a limited number of participant organizations. A subsequent quantitative study might provide generalizeable metrics for the green building industry. Further research on the cost effectiveness of the identified management practices is recommended. Practical implications This study provides an intuitive framework in the form of discourse on management practices to enhance the success of LEED projects. Contractors may consider the study's recommendations in order to increase their success on such projects. Originality/value The need to harmonize management practices with sustainable development has sparked the interest of researchers and practitioners. The study should be of utility to LEED contractors, environmental agencies, governments, educators, and other relevant stakeholders.
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An overview of climate change mitigation opportunities in the world's buildings is presented, based on the key building-specific findings of the Fourth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. Buildings and the building stock can play a major role in mitigating climate change in the short- to medium-term, since substantial reductions in CO2 emissions from their energy use can be achieved over the coming years. A significant portion of these savings can be achieved in ways that reduce life cycle costs, thus providing reductions in CO2 emissions that have a net negative cost. There are indications that the building stock has the highest share of negative- and low-cost greenhouse gas reduction potential among all sectors. Based on 80 collected national or regional studies estimating CO2 mitigation potential in five continents, the global potential for CO2 reductions through buildings is analysed and estimated. The co-benefits associated with the implementation of these measures are also substantial, helping policy-makers justify actions even in the absence of a strong climate commitment. Since the barriers to unlocking the high potentials in the residential and commercial sectors are especially strong, no single instrument can make a large impact. Instead, portfolios of targeted policies tailored to local conditions, combined with strong compliance and enforcement regimes, are needed.
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Buildings demand energy in their life cycle right from its construction to demolition. Studies on the total energy use during the life cycle are desirable to identify phases of largest energy use and to develop strategies for its reduction. In the present paper, a critical review of the life cycle energy analyses of buildings resulting from 73 cases across 13 countries is presented. The study includes both residential and office buildings. Results show that operating (80–90%) and embodied (10–20%) phases of energy use are significant contributors to building's life cycle energy demand. Life cycle energy (primary) requirement of conventional residential buildings falls in the range of 150–400 kWh/m2 per year and that of office buildings in the range of 250–550 kWh/m2 per year. Building's life cycle energy demand can be reduced by reducing its operating energy significantly through use of passive and active technologies even if it leads to a slight increase in embodied energy. However, an excessive use of passive and active features in a building may be counterproductive. It is observed that low energy buildings perform better than self-sufficient (zero operating energy) buildings in the life cycle context. Since, most of the case studies available in open literature pertain to developed and/or cold countries; hence, energy indicative figures for developing and/or non-cold countries need to be evaluated and compared with the results presented in this paper.
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In investigating complex situations, such as construction projects, the case study approach has been considered reliable to capture rich information for the purpose of the investigation by allowing the investigators to retain the holistic and meaningful characteristics of real-life events. Subsequent to data capture, data analysis will take place according to the intended research methodology. However, there is a potential for certain information to be hidden within the data and diluted during this data analysis phase. In order to minimize this and to reveal informal aspects and freshly emerging themes from the case study data, it is proposed that there is great value in analysing case studies on various levels, through different phases using multiple methods. Examples of the outcomes of applying multiple analyses involving different approaches, such as grounded theory methodology, rich picture diagrams and cognitive mapping, to the same set of data from multiple case studies are presented and discussed. This application of multiple analyses to case study research of construction projects provides valuable insights by revealing informal aspects and stimulating the emergence of a fresh understanding of the processes and interactions among different stakeholders. From the findings, the limits of the formal management systems were revealed. Further, the limits of tacit understanding around an evolving shared vision for a project were found to be substantial dimensions in understanding construction projects in a more holistic way.
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It is often argued that integrated design (ID) is a powerful way to enhance collaboration in construction projects. This collaboration is seen as a way of improving innovation to create more sustainable buildings. Contrary to the traditional silo-type and linear design process, ID is based on upfront stakeholder involvement and a holistic approach to project decision-making. Although ID’s premises are theoretically-founded, a close empirical look at its practices shows that numerous challenges compromise its results and efficiency. This study examines the ID process through an iterative process that includes the construction of a conceptual framework and its empirical validation. We examine three green construction projects in Canada. Based on the analysis of 26 interviews with key project stakeholders and more than 198 construction documents, the study assembles – and ultimately applies – a multi-lens framework based on four themes: the fragmented nature of construction; risk perception; stakeholders’ commitment; and efficiency in the design process. Results show that three tensions arise in ID practices: between collaboration and process efficiency, between short-term and long-term goals, and between integrated methods and traditional ones. The study sheds light on ID limits and reveals how stakeholders can improve their interactions to design more sustainable buildings.
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Since the 1970s, intense discussions have occurred within the research and practitioner communities on how to assess and influence the environmental performance of buildings. Many different methods, criteria and tools were developed to raise awareness, enable goal formulation, support design and decision-making processes, and evaluate a building’s environmental performance. This development can be retraced through the example of the works of Raymond J. Cole, who made an important contribution to this scientific debate. The integration of environmental performance into a sustainability assessment, the ongoing development of life cycle assessment (LCA) methods, and clients’, financiers’ and assessors’ different demands for environmental performance assessment, raise additional questions and highlight the conflicting goals. Six topics are examined in relation to current developments: the further development of the classic ‘three pillars’ sustainability model; the suitability of assessment criteria and indicators; the handling of technological progress; the discounting of environmental impacts; the environmental assessment of existing buildings; and the further development of legal requirements. ‘Time’ is a key factor relating to LCA, weighing current versus future emissions, ecological value and recycling potential of existing buildings or ‘options’ for different ways to use the building in future. Recommended actions are provided for key stakeholders.
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Energy efficient building are designed to minimize heating, cooling and lighting energy loads, so that attention is now paid on the energy consumption related to inhabitants (e.g. use of appliances) and life cycle issues: fabrication of materials, construction, maintenance, dismantling and waste treatment. In order to study these aspects, both in new construction and renovation projects, thermal simulation has been linked to life cycle assessment. Such a global environmental balance of a building allows for comparison of alternatives, constituting an eco-design tool. This methodology is presented, as well as validation elements from model inter-comparison. Application of this method is illustrated by a case study: two attached passive houses built in France. The results show the contribution of different life cycle stages in the environmental impact indicators (e.g. energy demand, global warming potential, water consumption, waste production…) as well as the influence of occupants on the performance.
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One perspective on construction safety practice and knowledge sees them as mutually constituted and intertwined. As such, it is important that construction safety research generates knowledge and understanding which is closely connected with safe working practices across contexts. This paper reviews the construction safety literature in order to explore the extent to which the knowledge generated by research considers the situated nature of safety learning and, therefore, addresses the needs of industry practice. The research methods adopted in 88 construction safety articles published by five highly-ranked international journals and one international conference proceedings were evaluated. The analytical results show that nearly half (43.2%) of the safety papers used quantitative methods while about a quarter (23.9%) applied qualitative methods and very few (9.1%) adopted mixed methods research. The remainder was review or conceptual papers. The implications of the research methods adopted in the 88 papers are discussed in terms of their relationship with the kinds of safety knowledge, safety learning processes, and safety management practices that they inform and/or generate. It is argued that a greater use of mixed methods research might act to better integrate the realms of theory and practice by enabling the co-production of safety theories and knowledge between university researchers and industry practitioners. The research design proposed in this paper provides a framework as a point of departure for academic researchers and industry practitioners to work together to improve construction safety performance.
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Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a quantitative tool used to evaluate the environmental impacts of products or processes. With respect to buildings, LCA can be used to evaluate the environmental impacts of an entire building's life cycle. Currently LCA in the building area is used in a limited capacity, primarily to select building products. In order to determine the causality for the lack of whole-building LCAs, focus groups with members of the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) communities were held. This article investigates the current level of knowledge of LCA in the AEC community and then discusses the benefits and barriers to the practice of LCA. In summary, the goal of the research was to identify why LCA is not used to its fullest potential in a whole-building LCA. In an open forum and moderated setting, focus group participants were asked individually to self-identify their experience with LCA, a brief education session on LCA was held, and then benefits and barriers to LCA were discussed. The focus group sessions were transcribed and systematically coded by social researchers in order to analyze the results. Hybrid flow and radar charts were developed. From the focus group results, the most important benefit to LCA was “provides information about environmental impacts.” The results did not identify a prominent barrier; however, building-related metrics were ascertained to be one of the more crucial barriers. The benefits and barriers classified by this analysis will be utilized to develop a subsequent online survey to further understand the LCA and AEC community.
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The capacity of government client bodies to lead other industry actors in the creation of a more sustainable built environment is assessed. A framework is introduced that records the legislation, guiding principles and policies influencing government clients towards new professional practices embracing dynamic interactions between people, process and technology. The framework is used to analyse case studies related to two US government client organizations: the General Services Administration (GSA) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The study finds that GSA and NREL are actively seeking innovation and influencing their consultants, contractors and other US government agencies through their policies and programmes, notably by piloting new professional practices associated with integrated project delivery and open communication. The initiatives and their effectiveness are further studied in a broader, international context of emerging best professional practices. Government clients are key agents for leading and motivating change, particularly through capacity-building in other professional services firms and contractors. Government clients can further expand their sphere of positive influence specifically in the assessment and integration of emerging technologies and in the extension of professional service contracts related to building performance and occupant engagement.
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Green Building Challenge '98 (GBC '98) was a 2 year development process involving international teams from 14 countries. The overall goal of Green Building Challenge '98 (GBC '98) was to develop, test and demonstrate an improved method for measuring building performance across a range of environmental and energy issues and then to inform the international community of scientists, designers, builders and clients about the results. 34 case study buildings from 14 countries were used to test and demonstrate this new method. As a second-generation method for assessing building performance, the GBC '98 assessment framework builds on the first generation systems developed in a number of countries. Unique to GBC '98 is the provision of an international framework capable of being adapted to national or regional circumstances. A description of the design goals and design features of the GBC '98 assessment method and GBTool is provided. Both the process and the product have served to stimulate critical debate about the scope and role of building environmental performance assessment and the actual design of green buildings.
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Buildings are the largest consumer of energy and greatest contributor to climate change in the United States—consuming approximately half of energy produced and contributing close to half of greenhouse gas emissions. Building designers, contractors, and owners currently have few methods to effectively control a building’s life cycle energy and environmental impacts during the design phase. Managing and reducing these impacts during design requires rapid information turnaround and decision-making. When left unconsidered, poor environmental design decisions leave potential design value uncaptured. This research combines life cycle assessment (LCA) and target value design (TVD) to rapidly produce more sustainable building designs. By establishing site-specific sustainability targets and using dynamically-updating life cycle assessments, this research demonstrates that buildings can be designed to perform at higher environmental standards than those designed without a target in place. The research also offers unique opportunities to analyze the tradeoffs between design and operational decisions.
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Global awareness of environmental impacts such as climate change and depletion of ozone layer has increased significantly in the last few years and the implication for emissions reductions in buildings are widely acknowledged. The goal, therefore, is to design and construct buildings with minimum environmental impacts. Lifecycle emissions resulting from buildings consist of two components: operational and embodied emissions. A great deal of effort has been put into reducing the former as it is assumed that it is higher than the latter. However, studies have revealed the growing significance of embodied emissions in buildings but its importance is often underestimated in lifecycle emissions analysis. This paper takes a retrospective approach to critically review the relationship between embodied and operational emissions over the lifecycle of buildings. This is done to highlight and demonstrate the increasing proportion of embodied emissions that is one consequence of efforts to decrease operational emissions. The paper draws on a wide array of issues, including complications concerning embodied emissions computation and also discusses the benefits that come with its consideration. The implication of neglecting embodied emissions and the need for an urgent policy framework within the current climate of energy and climate change policies are also discussed.
Article
The basic concept of a Net Zero Energy Building (Net ZEB) is that on-site renewable energy generation covers the annual energy load.The main objective of this study is to analyse the increase of embodied energy compared to the decrease of the energy use related to building operation; partly by a literature review, partly by detailed analysis of eleven case studies; taking the step from a low energy building to a Net ZEB. The literature review shows that the metric of evaluation, assumed life-span, boundary conditions, age of database and the origin of database differ in different studies and influence the result of embodied energy. The relationship between embodied energy and life cycle energy use is almost linear for all cases studied herein. During the last two decades, embodied energy in new buildings has decreased slightly. However, the relative share of embodied energy related to life cycle energy use has increased. The detailed life cycle energy analysis show that taking the step from a low energy building to a Net ZEB results in a small increase of the embodied energy. However, the energy savings achieved in the annual operating energy balance clearly exceed the increase in embodied energy.
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The construction industry together with its product the 'built environment', among many sectors of the economy and human activity, can contribute to the sustainability of the earth including its human and non-human inhabitants. The impacts of the manufacturing, construction, operation, and disposal phases on human and natural system health are also important considerations in evaluating the success of efforts attempting to implement sustainable construction. Implementation also includes includes the interaction of public policy in the form of regulations, incentives, and disincentives. The concept of green building materials also needs to be better defined and methods for their evaluation need to be developed. The most difficult technical challenge facing sustainable construction is the development of a comprehensive materials strategy that is consistent with creating a sustainable built environment.
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There is a new movement in the building industry that calls for sustainable planning and design. Energy costs are consistently rising, and the cost of maintaining a building and its systems will eat away at profits the building owner expects to realize. In effect these seemingly simple concepts can make or break the success of a project for the owner. Additionally, it is known that buildings "consume more than 30% of the total energy and more than 60% of the electricity used in the US. Each day five billion gallons of potable water is used solely to flush toilets. A typical North American commercial construction project generates up to 2.5 pounds of solid waster per square foot of completed floor space." This is significant! This will change our landscape and the way we live if action is not taken to address this constant waste of resources. On an international scale, efforts such as Architecture 2030 and 2030 Carbon Neutral Challenge, and the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) rating system are two significant market drivers promoting change. Regionally, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's BetterBricks program has funded the Pacific Northwest University Design Lab Network (Lab Network) to promote market transformation for sustainable and energy efficient buildings. This article outlines how the owner and design team, along with the contractor and sub-contactors (the team), were able to break through the old design and construction paradigm and enter into a challenging process called integrated design. Through this integrated design process and an integrated delivery method, the Banner Bank, a LEED Platinum CS building was built. And through this process, the team members were transformed into more effective owners, designers, and builders.
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Research Question: How do architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals overcome the most prevalent barriers of implementing IPD? Purpose: To investigate how successful IPD projects overcome legal, cultural, financial, and technological barriers in an effort to achieve wider adoption of IPD by the industry and to provide lessons learned to industry professionals interested in implementing IPD as a delivery method. Research Design: A brief review of the current situation of the AEC industry; semi-structured interviews with leading AEC professionals in nine IPD projects. Findings: The study finds that successful IPD projects are achieved through proper selection and involvement of all main players as well as these main players achieving trust in each other. Training, procurement ability, and collaborative technology are also among the key factors for a successful transition to IPD. Limitations/Implications: Eight out of nine cases are from the state of California. Value for Practitioners: This paper highlights common barriers that currently exist in implementing IPD and provides lessons learned to practitioners in order to overcome these barriers.
Article
Our environment is an important resource, not only for use in development, but to conserve. In the 1990s, the importance of our environment became underscored for conservation efforts in many areas. Among them, the building construction industry had played a role in impoverishing the environment, for the sake of improving our quality of life, but at a great cost of impact to the environment. It is therefore incumbent upon the industry to endeavor to mitigate effects from building constructions to our environment. During the life cycle of a building, it consumes energy and other natural resources. But it is difficult to evaluate their effects on the environment during the entire course of a building's life span, without much time and effort. An easy to handle program is necessary for the calculation of effects to the environment during the life cycle of a building. Many of the software programs developed for these kinds of assessments can only be used with significant restrictions because of their differences in design for scope and content. This paper presents foundations for the development of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) program for buildings, focusing on their energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission levels, with a comparison of domestically and foreign designed programs.
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The paper presents the state-of-the-art regarding the application of life cycle assessment (LCA) in the building sector, providing a list of existing tools, drivers and barriers, potential users and purposes of LCA studies in this sector. It also proposes a simplified LCA methodology and applies this to a case study focused on Spain. The thermal simulation tools considered in the Spanish building energy certification standards are analysed and complemented with a simplified LCA methodology for evaluating the impact of certain improvements to the building design. The simplified approach proposed allows global comparisons between the embodied energy and emissions of the building materials and the energy consumption and associated emissions at the use stage.The results reveal that embodied energy can represent more than 30% of the primary energy requirement during the life span of a single house of 222 m2 with a garage for one car. The contribution of the building materials decreases if the house does not include a parking area, since this increases the heated surface percentage. Usually the top cause of energy consumption in residential building is heating, but the second is the building materials, which can represent more than 60% of the heating consumption.
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Since the field of environmental assessment tools for buildings is vast, the aim of this study is to clarify that field by analysing and categorising existing tools. The differences between the tools are discussed and the current situation within the tools is critically analysed. However, the comparison of the tools is difficult, if not impossible. For example, the tools are designed for assessing different types of buildings, and they emphasise different phases of the life cycle. In addition to environmental aspects, sustainable building includes economic and social aspects. The shift from green building to sustainable building and the future requirements are challenging for building environmental assessment tools. Furthermore, the benefits of using the tools should be analysed — how the tools and their results have affected decision making?
Should building energy simulation tools integrate life cycle assessment? A discussion of the potential benefits and challenges
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