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Embodied GHG emissions of buildings – The hidden challenge for effective climate change mitigation

Röck, M.; Saade, M. R. M.; Balouktsi, Maria; Rasmussen, F. N.; Birgisdottir, H.; Frischknecht, R.; Habert, G.; Lützkendorf, Thomas; Passer, A.

Abstract:
Buildings are major sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contributors to the climate crisis. To meet climate-change mitigation needs, one must go beyond operational energy consumption and related GHG emissions of buildings and address their full life cycle. This study investigates the global trends of GHG emissions arising across the life cycle of buildings by systematically compiling and analysing more than 650 life cycle assessment (LCA) case studies. The results, presented for different energy performance classes based on a final sample of 238 cases, show a clear reduction trend in life cycle GHG emissions due to improved operational energy performance. However, the analysis reveals an increase in relative and absolute contributions of so‐called ‘embodied’ GHG emissions, i.e., emissions arising from manufacturing and processing of building materials. While the average share of embodied GHG emissions from buildings following current energy performance regulations is approximately 20–25% of life cycle GHG emissions, this figure escalates to 45–50% for highly energy-efficient buildings and surpasses 90% in extreme cases. Furthermore, this study analyses GHG emissions at time of occurrence, highlighting the ‘carbon spike’ from building production. ... mehr

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Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000104739
Veröffentlicht am 10.01.2020
Originalveröffentlichung
DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.114107
Scopus
Zitationen: 1
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Ökonomie und Ökologie des Wohnungsbaus (OEW)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2020
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 0306-2619, 1872-9118
KITopen-ID: 1000104739
Erschienen in Applied energy
Band 258
Seiten Art.-Nr.: 114107
Schlagwörter Life cycle assessment (LCA), Construction, Buildings, Embodied carbon, Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Environmental impacts
Nachgewiesen in Web of Science
Scopus
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