Improved embodied energy and carbon accounting: recommendations for industry and policy
Athens Journal of Technology and Engineering
Athens Institute for Education and Research
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Gavotsis, E., & Moncaster, A. (2015). Improved embodied energy and carbon accounting: recommendations for industry and policy. Athens Journal of Technology and Engineering, 2 9-23. http://www.athensjournals.gr/technology/2015-2-1-1-Gavotsis.pdf
The majority of carbon emissions arise from the built environment, a fact which has led to a global policy focus on reducing carbon and energy from buildings in use. However, research demonstrates that embodied carbon is also an increasingly significant proportion of the whole life impacts from buildings. Embodied carbon is not yet the subject of regulation, and although the CEN TC350 standards provide a methodology, there remains a significant variation in its measurement. This paper investigates some of the issues and difficulties that need to be addressed before widescale regulation can be enforced. The investigation uses a detailed case study of a low-energy school building, studied during its construction phase. The cradle-to-grave embodied impacts were modeled to the TC350 Standards using an innovative tool, and the operational impacts were modeled to incorporate future climate predictions. In spite of the care taken over data collection and the collective support of the process from all stakeholders, the study demonstrates a high level of uncertainty in results, resulting from industry-wide barriers to embodied carbon measurement. Key recommendations are made for industry and policy, in order to overcome the current barriers and enable more accurate and comparable measurement of the embodied carbon of buildings.
Embodied Energy, Carbon, Sustainable Building, Construction, Energy Assessment
We would like to thank the stakeholders of the school: the architect Ms Daniela Muscat, the bursar of the school Mr Richard Brent, the contractor Mr Gareth Godfrey, the building services engineer Ms Sarah Leggo, and New World Timber Frame. We are grateful to the George and Marie Vergottis Foundation for financial support of Gavotsis during the period of this research at the University of Cambridge.
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/246900