Energies 2012, 5(8), 2874-2893; doi:10.3390/en5082874
Article

Are the Greenhouse Gas Implications of New Residential Developments Understood Wrongly?

Received: 1 June 2012; in revised form: 26 July 2012 / Accepted: 27 July 2012 / Published: 6 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Buildings and Green Buildings)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Built environment carbon reduction strategies materialize predominantly in city-level greenhouse gas (GHG) management, where new residential development appears as one of the key instruments. However, city-level assessments are often incapable of producing data at a community or neighborhood level and thus they may heavily underestimate the emissions from new construction. This paper explores the implications of low-energy residential construction as an instrument of climate change mitigation in the built environment and demonstrates why city-level approaches easily fail to identify the significance of the emissions from construction. We employ a hybrid life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to demonstrate that, when the temporal allocation of emissions from the construction and use phases is taken into account, construction phase emissions come to have a central role in finding effective GHG mitigation strategies—even when the emissions from all consumption activities during the use phase are included in the assessment. In fact, their role would seem to be so central that new residential construction cannot be utilized as an instrument of city carbon management, even over a relatively long period. While we analyze a case study from Finland, the analysis intends to highlight the situation throughout the globe.
Keywords: life cycle assessment; climate change; city; neighborhood; construction; low-energy; resident
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MDPI and ACS Style

Heinonen, J.; Säynäjoki, A.-J.; Kuronen, M.; Junnila, S. Are the Greenhouse Gas Implications of New Residential Developments Understood Wrongly? Energies 2012, 5, 2874-2893.

AMA Style

Heinonen J, Säynäjoki A-J, Kuronen M, Junnila S. Are the Greenhouse Gas Implications of New Residential Developments Understood Wrongly? Energies. 2012; 5(8):2874-2893.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Heinonen, Jukka; Säynäjoki, Antti-Juhani; Kuronen, Matti; Junnila, Seppo. 2012. "Are the Greenhouse Gas Implications of New Residential Developments Understood Wrongly?" Energies 5, no. 8: 2874-2893.

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