- freely available
Buildings 2018, 8(8), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8080105
- RQ1: What is the weight of each life cycle phase in the total environmental impact of a building (product stage of materials, construction process stage, use stage and end-of-life stage)?
- For a current building;
- For a low energy building;
- For a nearly zero energy building (NZEB);
- For a Passive House building;
- For an energy positive building.
- RQ2: What tipping points for insulation thicknesses are identified in literature? Tipping points are defined as additional insulation thicknesses leading to lower energy efficiency gains than additional impacts.
- RQ3: What is the relative contribution of insulation in relation to the total building life cycle impacts and impacts of the construction phase of the building?
- RQ4: What is the relative contribution of the technical equipment for renewable energy in relation to the total building life cycle impacts, and in relation to the impact of the construction and use phase (replacement and maintenance)?
- RQ5: What is the ratio between impacts produced by insulation in relation to impacts avoided through energy savings? This question also considers the ratio of impacts produced by technical systems for renewable energy in relation to impacts avoided by them.
- RQ6: If the life cycle cost (LCC) is also assessed, are the LCC conclusions similar to the LCA conclusions?
- The initial list of literature sources could not provide enough qualified information to satisfactorily answer the identified research questions.
- A keyword string for each unanswered question was initially defined, and searched for in Scopus (covering a wide set of international databases, such as ScienceDirect and Springer).
- The final sample of papers was selected through three exclusion rounds, for each keyword string: a title analysis, an abstract analysis and a full paper analysis.
- The literature selected covered different European Member States in order to provide a representative state-of-the-art on the topic and covered different building realities.
- A temporal boundary was established as an exclusion criterion: studies had to be published from 2010 forward, to assure representation of the best available practices.
- The search was restricted to papers published in journals with an Impact factor ≥2.
3.2. Research Questions
3.2.1. Research Question 1: Weight of Each Life Cycle Stage
- Seven current buildings or buildings that are built in a conventional way;
- One NZEB building;
- Eight buildings according to Passive House standard;
- Six energy positive buildings;
- Two low energy buildings;
- Two energy efficient buildings;
- And 11 cases in which the paper did not mention or describe which type of energy performance the case represented.
3.2.2. Research Question 2: Tipping Point for Insulation
3.2.3. Research Question 3: Weight of Insulation Materials in Total Building Life Cycle Impact
3.2.4. Research Question 4: Weight of Renewable Energy Services in Total Building Life Cycle Impact
3.2.5. Research Question 5: Impacts Caused vs. Impacts Avoided
3.2.6. Research Question 6: Comparing LCC and LCA Findings
4. Discussion and Conclusions
Conflicts of Interest
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|Qualitative or quantitative study||x|
|Efficiency strategy proposed|
(i.e., insulation, automation, etc.)
|Description of the strategy||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|New construction or refurbishment||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|Building parts included||x||x|
|Gross floor area [m2]||x|
|Net floor area [m2]||x|
|Reference area for EE/EC [m2]||x|
|Final operational energy demand [kWh/m2a]||x||x||x||x|
|Final energy demand for electricity, cooling and hot water [kWh/m2a]||x||x||x||x|
|Reference study period||x|
|Database for LCA||x|
|Assumptions for LCA||x|
|Additional comments for LCA||x|
|Environmental impacts and/or performances covered (according to EN 15978, 15 Modules A to D)|
|Abiotic Depletion Potential||x||x|
|Hazardous waste generation||x||x|
|Single environmental score||x||x|
|LC stage contribution to the total load (for 15 modules)||x|
|Insulation contribution over the total load (for 15 modules)||x|
|Insulation vs. Energy savings||x||x||x|
|Renewable Energy contribution over the total load (for 15 modules)||x|
|Renewable Energy, tipping point||x||x|
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