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Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 287; doi:10.3390/su8030287

Life Cycle Assessment in Building: A Case Study on the Energy and Emissions Impact Related to the Choice of Housing Typologies and Construction Process in Spain

1
Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Jaén, C/AlmenasJaén 23001, Spain
2
Department of Architecture, Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02481, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Thorsten Schuetze, Hendrik Tieben, Lorenzo Chelleri, York Ostermeyer and Marc Wolfram
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 13 March 2016 / Accepted: 15 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
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Abstract

While there exists an international trend to develop zero or near zero emissions building solutions by 2020, and European governments continuously update their building regulations to optimize the building envelope and energy systems to achieve this during the building use stage, at least in Spain the building regulations do not take into account the impact of emissions resulting from urbanization and construction activities prior to building use. This research studies in detail the entire emissions balance (and how it may be related to energy efficiency) in a newly built residential cluster project in Mancha Real (Jaén, Spain), and influences due to the choice of different urban typologies. For comparison, terraced housing and low-density, four-floor, multi-family housing alternatives have been studied. The present work assessed the life cycle of the building with the help of commercial software (CYPE), and the energy efficiency and emissions according to the legal regulations in Spain with the official software LIDER and CALENER VYP. After a careful choice of building and systems alternatives and their comparison, the study concludes that the major emissions impact and energy costs of urbanization and building activity occurs during construction, while later savings due to reductions in building use emissions are very modest in comparison. Therefore, deeper analysis is suggested to improve the efficiency of the construction process for a significantly reduced emission footprint on the urban environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; green urban economies; terraced housing; low density housing; sustainable building; sustainable city; building embodied energy; building embodied carbon life cycle assessment; green urban economies; terraced housing; low density housing; sustainable building; sustainable city; building embodied energy; building embodied carbon
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rodríguez Serrano, A.Á.; Porras Álvarez, S. Life Cycle Assessment in Building: A Case Study on the Energy and Emissions Impact Related to the Choice of Housing Typologies and Construction Process in Spain. Sustainability 2016, 8, 287.

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