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Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 663;

Emergy Evaluation of Dwelling Operation in Five Housing Units of Montreal Island, Canada

Tecnológico Nacional de México, Instituto Tecnológico de Chetumal; Insurgentes 330, Col. David Gvo. Gutiérrez, Chetumal 77013, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Unidad de Investigación Especializada en Hidroinformática y Tecnología Ambiental, Facultad de Ingeniería Civil, Universidad Veracruzana, Lomas del Estadio s/n, Zona Universitaria, Xalapa 91000, Veracruz, Mexico
División de Ciencias e Ingeniería, Universidad de Quintana Roo, Boulevard Bahía s/n esquina Ignacio Comonfort, Col. Del Bosque, Chetumal 77019, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Station Expérimentale des Procédés Pilotes en Environnement, École de Technologie Supérieure, Université du Québec, 1100, rue Notre-Dame Ouest Local A-1500, Montreal, QC H3C 1K3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tan Yigitcanlar
Received: 20 February 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2808 KB, uploaded 21 April 2017]   |  


Sustainability of cities and the environmental implications of high resource utilization by the domestic sector are growing concerns related to urban regions. Well-informed urban planning decision-making is an essential tool to help in the task and, for that, an important point to consider is the influence of parameters like residential density and housing typology on the intensity of resource utilization. Emergy synthesis, a life-cycle energy analysis methodological approach that considers the interaction of natural and human-made flows, was used to evaluate the environmental support for dwelling operational stage in five typical present-day housing units on the island of Montreal. As expected, resource utilization, measured as total emergy used, was positively correlated to housing unit size both with respect to number of occupants and dwelling size. Results suggest that variables affecting notably the intensity of resource utilization are per household income and per dweller habitable space and, while a higher income increased per capita emergy in all cases, increasing space availability per resident did not result in a decrease of empower density after 50 m2/person. Future work should consider lower and higher densities and analyses at the scale of blocks, neighborhoods and urban planning zones. View Full-Text
Keywords: housing unit; dwelling operation; housing type; resource utilization; emergy-based performance indicators housing unit; dwelling operation; housing type; resource utilization; emergy-based performance indicators

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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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Vega-Azamar, R.E.; Romero-López, R.; Oropeza-García, N.A.; Glaus, M.; Hausler, R.; Silva-Poot, H.S. Emergy Evaluation of Dwelling Operation in Five Housing Units of Montreal Island, Canada. Sustainability 2017, 9, 663.

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