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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1999

Graham J. Treloar, Andrew McCoubrie, Peter E.D. Love and Usha Iyer‐Raniga

The energy required to operate office buildings has been the focus of much research in the past three decades. There have been limited attempts to quantify the embodied

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2209

Abstract

The energy required to operate office buildings has been the focus of much research in the past three decades. There have been limited attempts to quantify the embodied energy consumed in construction. Some embodied energy studies have been relatively detailed. But the energy embodied in fixtures, fittings and furniture which is used by occupiers of buildings is rarely mentioned. The potential significance of the energy embodied in fixtures, fittings and furniture has yet to be established. Aims to establish the likely importance of the energy embodied in fixtures, fittings and furniture relative to other life cycle energy requirements of office buildings in temperate climates. Implementation actions are suggested for the optimisation of the energy embodied in fixtures, fittings and furniture used in buildings. Assists facility managers and businesses with their decision making with respect to the environmental impacts associated with energy use throughout the life cycle of their buildings.

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Facilities, vol. 17 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2001

Graham J. Treloar, Ceridwen Owen and Roger Fay

Present concerns for sustainable development have led to a revival of traditional building practices using natural or recycled resources. There is a perception that…

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2891

Abstract

Present concerns for sustainable development have led to a revival of traditional building practices using natural or recycled resources. There is a perception that buildings constructed from such materials are environmentally benign. This perception is questionable, as often no evaluation is undertaken to assess the associated environmental impacts. Rammed earth is one such construction technology that has seen renewed interest in recent years. The energy required to manufacture materials (i.e. embodied energy) is a significant component of the life cycle energy associated with buildings. This paper assesses the embodied energy of rammed earth construction relative to brick veneer and cavity brick construction. Rammed earth was found to have significantly less embodied energy than cavity brick construction (to which it is closer in thermal performance), but was approximately equivalent to brick veneer construction. Topics of further research identified include thermal performance and strategies for reducing the embodied energy of cement used for earth stabilisation.

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Structural Survey, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Zaid Alwan and Paul Jones

The construction industry has focused on operational and embodied energy of buildings as a way of becoming more sustainable, however, with more emphasis on the former. The…

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2998

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry has focused on operational and embodied energy of buildings as a way of becoming more sustainable, however, with more emphasis on the former. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the impact that embodied energy of construction materials can have on the decision making when designing buildings, and ultimately on the environment. This is an important aspect that has often been overlooked when calculating a building's carbon footprint; and its inclusion this approach presents a more holistic life cycle assessment.

Design/methodology/approach

A building project was chosen that is currently being designed; the design team for the project have been tasked by the client to make the facility exemplary in terms of its sustainability. This building has a limited construction palette; therefore the embodied energy component can be accurately calculated. The authors of this paper are also part of the design team for the building so they have full access to Building Information Modelling (BIM) models and production information. An inventory of materials was obtained for the building and embodied energy coefficients applied to assess the key building components. The total operational energy was identified using benchmarking to produce a carbon footprint for the facility.

Findings

The results indicate that while operational energy is more significant over the long term, the embodied energy of key materials should not be ignored, and is likely to be a bigger proportion of the total carbon in a low carbon building. The components with high embodied energy have also been identified. The design team have responded to this by altering the design to significantly reduce the embodied energy within these key components – and thus make the building far more sustainable in this regard.

Research limitations/implications

It may be is a challenge to create components inventories for whole buildings or for refurbishments. However, a potential future approach for is application may be to use a BIM model to simplify this process by imbedding embodied energy inventories within the software, as part of the BIM menus.

Originality/value

This case study identifies the importance of considering carbon use during the whole-life cycle of buildings, as well as highlighting the use of carbon offsetting. The paper presents an original approach to the research by using a “live” building as a case study with a focus on the embodied energy of each component of the scheme. The operational energy is also being calculated, the combined data are currently informing the design approach for the building. As part of the analysis, the building was modelled in BIM software.

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Structural Survey, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Graham J. Treloar, Peter E.D. Love and Olusegun O. Faniran

Embodied energy is the total amount of energy required to produce a product, and is significant because it occurs immediately and can be equal over the life cycle of a…

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1655

Abstract

Embodied energy is the total amount of energy required to produce a product, and is significant because it occurs immediately and can be equal over the life cycle of a building to the transient requirements for operational energy. Methods for embodied energy analysis include process analysis, input‐output analysis and hybrid analysis. Proposes to improve the reliability of estimating embodied energy based on input‐output models by using an algorithm to extract systematically the most important energy paths for the “other construction” sector from an Australian input‐output model. Demonstrates the application of these energy paths to the embodied energy analysis of an individual commercial building, highlighting improvements in reliability due to the modification of energy paths with process analysis data. Compares materials and elements for the building, and estimates likely ranges of error.

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Logistics Information Management, vol. 14 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6053

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Shan Guo, Geoffrey Shen, Jay Yang, Bingxia Sun and Fan Xue

Energy is a resource of strategic importance for high density cities. International trade reshapes the urban economy and industrial structure of a city, which will…

Abstract

Purpose

Energy is a resource of strategic importance for high density cities. International trade reshapes the urban economy and industrial structure of a city, which will indirectly affect energy use. As an international trade hub, Hong Kong relies on the import and export of services. Energy performance in the international trading of these services needs to be properly understood and assessed for Hong Kong’s urban renewal efforts. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This study evaluates Hong Kong’s embodied energy in service trades based on an input-output analysis. The three criteria used for assessment include trading areas, industry sector and trade balance.

Findings

Analyzed by region, results show that Mainland China and the USA are the two largest sources of embodied energy in imports of services, while Mainland China and Japan are the two largest destinations of exports. In terms of net embodied energy transfer, Hong Kong mainly receives net energy import from Mainland China and the USA and supplies net energy export to Japan, the UK and Taiwan. Among industry sectors, manufacturing services, transport and travel contribute most significantly to the embodied energy in Hong Kong’s imported services, while transport and travel contribute most to the energy embodied in exported services.

Originality/value

This study identifies the characteristics of energy consumption of service trading and establishes a feasible approach to analyze energy performance of service trade in energy-deficient Hong Kong for the first time. It provides necessary understanding and foundation for developing energy strategies in a service-based, high density urban economy.

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Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2001

G.J. Treloar, R. Fay, B. Ilozor and P.E.D. Love

Aims to compare the energy embodied in office buildings varying in height from a few storeys to over 50 storeys. The energy embodied in substructure, superstructure and…

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Abstract

Aims to compare the energy embodied in office buildings varying in height from a few storeys to over 50 storeys. The energy embodied in substructure, superstructure and finishes elements was investigated for five Melbourne office buildings of the following heights: 3, 7, 15, 42 and 52 storeys. The two high‐rise buildings have approximately 60 percent more energy embodied per unit gross floor area (GFA) in their materials than the low‐rise buildings. While building height was found to dictate the amount of energy embodied in the “structure group” elements (upper floors, columns, internal walls, external walls and staircases), other elements such as substructure, roof, windows and finishes seemed uninfluenced.

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Facilities, vol. 19 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Graham Treloar, Roger Fay, Benedict Ilozor and Peter Love

This paper aims to consider the embodied energy of building materials in the context of greenhouse gas emission mitigation strategies. Previous practice and research are…

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4842

Abstract

This paper aims to consider the embodied energy of building materials in the context of greenhouse gas emission mitigation strategies. Previous practice and research are highlighted where they have the potential to influence design decisions. Latest embodied energy figures are indicated, and the implications of applying these figures to whole buildings are discussed. Several practical examples are given to aid building designers in the selection of building materials for reduced overall life cycle greenhouse gas emissions.

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Facilities, vol. 19 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Manish K. Dixit, Charles H. Culp, Sarel Lavy and Jose Fernandez-Solis

The recurrent embodied energy (REE) is the energy consumed in the maintenance, replacement and retrofit processes of a facility. The purpose of this paper was to analyze…

Abstract

Purpose

The recurrent embodied energy (REE) is the energy consumed in the maintenance, replacement and retrofit processes of a facility. The purpose of this paper was to analyze the relationship of REE with the service life and life cycle embodied energy. The amount of variation in the reported REE values is also determined and discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach that is known as the literature based discovery (LBD) was adopted. Existing literature was surveyed to gather case studies and to analyze the reported values of REE.

Findings

The reported values of REE showed considerable variation across referred studies. It was also found that the reported REE values demonstrated a moderate positive correlation with the service life but a very strong positive correlation with the life cycle embodied energy of both the residential and commercial facilities.

Research limitations/implications

This review paper pointed out the importance of the maintenance and replacement processes in reducing the life cycle energy use in a facility. Future research could focus on performing case studies to evaluate this relationship.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the significance of REE in reducing the life cycle energy impacts of a facility. As facility managers routinely deal with maintenance and replacement processes, they hold an important responsibility of reducing the life cycle energy.

Originality/value

The findings of the paper would motivate the facilities management professionals to prefer long service life materials and components during the postconstruction phases of a built facility.

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2018

N. Gözde Oral and Mesut B. Özdeniz

It is a well-known fact that global warming is the extraordinary threat facing the world. The main reasons of these are human activities. Human beings have been…

Abstract

It is a well-known fact that global warming is the extraordinary threat facing the world. The main reasons of these are human activities. Human beings have been contributing to the global warming in different ways for many years. Right material and product selection are some of the most important factors in the process of eliminating the negative effects of constructions on the natural environment and users. The life cycle of building materials involves the processes in which the products are extracted from the source. These processes are the stages of production, transportation, construction, use, demolition and destruction. Making wrong decisions in the selection and use of building materials may cause negative effects in the environment. The major purpose of this study is to to examine the embodied energy of of the traditional and comtemporary building materials according to the characteristics of the local climate. It will answer the question of; “What the embodied energy of a house was in the past and now” in Northern Cyprus. It will help to find out building materials with low embodied energy. There is no published database prepared for or in Northern Cyprus. In order to measure and evaluate the embodied energy of buildings and construction products in the world, there are no integrated systems in the Northern Cyprus at this point, while different countries have unique systems depending on the environmental, economic and social conditions of those countries. Measuring and controlling the environmental performance of environmental development is essential for the sustainable development of the Northern Cyprus.

By using the The Inventory of Carbon & Energy (ICE) program the embodied carbon statuses, embodied energy and transport energy and manufacture energy were discussed for each building material. As a result of this research it was found that locally produced or locally existing materials do not always give the best result in terms of embodied energy all the time. The energy consumption of building materials used in buildings and their associated carbon emissions will assist in the selection of environmentally friendly materials.

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Open House International, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Amneh Hamida, Abdulsalam Alsudairi, Khalid Alshaibani and Othman Alshamrani

Buildings are responsible for the consumption of around 40% of energy in the world and account for one-third of greenhouses gas emissions. In Saudi Arabia, residential…

Abstract

Purpose

Buildings are responsible for the consumption of around 40% of energy in the world and account for one-third of greenhouses gas emissions. In Saudi Arabia, residential buildings consume half of total energy among other building sectors. This study aims to explore the impact of sixteen envelope variables on the operational and embodied carbon of a typical Saudi house with over 20 years of operation.

Design/methodology/approach

A simulation approach has been adopted to examine the effects of envelope variables including external wall type, roof type, glazing type, window to wall ratio (WWR) and shading device. To model the building and define the envelope materials and quantify the annual energy consumption, DesignBuilder software was used. Following modelling, operational carbon was calculated. A “cradle-to-gate” approach was adopted to assess embodied carbon during the production of materials for the envelope variables based on the Inventory of Carbon Energy database.

Findings

The results showed that operational carbon represented 90% of total life cycle carbon, whilst embodied carbon accounted for 10%. The sensitivity analysis revealed that 25% WWR contributes to a significant increase in operational carbon by 47.4%. Additionally, the efficient block wall with marble has a major embodiment of carbon greater than the base case by 10.7%.

Research limitations/implications

This study is a contribution to the field of calculating the embodied and operational carbon emissions of a residential unit. Besides, it provides an examination of the impact of each envelope variable on both embodied and operational carbon. This study is limited by the impact of sixteen envelope variables on the embodied as well as operational carbon.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt on investigating the effects of envelop variables on carbon footprint for residential buildings in Saudi Arabia.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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