Next Article in Journal
Impacts of Microclimate Conditions on the Energy Performance of Buildings in Urban Areas
Previous Article in Journal
Improving Understanding of City Spaces for Tourism Applications
Open AccessArticle

Embodied Energy and Lifecycle Costs: Questioning (Mis)conceptions about Underground Construction

1
École d’architecture, Université Laval, Québec, QC G1R 3V6, Canada
2
Laboratory of Environmental and Urban Economics (LEURE), École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
3
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Buildings 2019, 9(8), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9080188
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 August 2019 / Published: 15 August 2019
In the construction community, underground construction is perceived as being significantly more costly and more energy-consuming than comparable surface construction. Although the literature is scarce, studies that have attempted to quantify this difference tend to compare built projects in heterogeneous conditions. The objective of this article is to present the results of life cycle cost and energy consumption simulations conducted as part of the Deep City project at the École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. This article begins by examining the preconceptions the construction industry seems to have about underground construction as reported in the press from 2007 to 2017. Then, we present the method and results of two unpublished studies on the differences in costs and energy consumption of a hypothetical commercial building project in two different geological contexts. We find that energy consumption can be 15% higher but also 4% lower. We also find that underground construction in unconsolidated sediment ground is approximately 23% more expensive, while only 10% in bedrock, which is significantly lower than the 200% to 300% differentials reported in previous studies. We attribute this to the level of detail of our studies, the inclusion of ground conditions, and conclude that our results help to dispel certain misconceptions about underground construction, which can contribute positively to urban sustainable development goals. View Full-Text
Keywords: underground construction; lifecycle analysis; construction cost; energy consumption; sustainability; construction industry; architecture; urbanism; engineering; geology underground construction; lifecycle analysis; construction cost; energy consumption; sustainability; construction industry; architecture; urbanism; engineering; geology
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Doyle, M.R.; Thalmann, P.; Parriaux, A. Embodied Energy and Lifecycle Costs: Questioning (Mis)conceptions about Underground Construction. Buildings 2019, 9, 188.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop