Carbon and Energy Footprints of Prefabricated Industrial Buildings: A Systematic Life Cycle Assessment Analysis

Abstract

A systematic analysis of green-house gases emission (carbon footprint) and primary energy consumption (energy footprint) of prefabricated industrial buildings during their entire life cycle is presented. The life cycle assessment (LCA) study was performed in a cradle-to grave approach: site-specific data from an Italian company, directly involved in all the phases from raw material manufacturing to in-situ assembly, were used to analyze the impacts as a function of different design choices. Four buildings were analyzed and results were used to setup a parameterized model that was used to study the impacts of industrial prefabricated buildings over the input parameter space. The model vs. data agreement is within 4% for both carbon and energy footprint. The functional unit is 1 m3 of prefabricated building, considering a 50-year lifetime. The results of the four buildings decrease from 144.6 kgCO2eq/m and 649.5 kWh/m3 down to 123.5 kgCO2eq/m and 556.8 kWh/m3 as the building floor area increases from 1048 m2 to 21,910 m2. The use phase accounts for the major impact (approximate 76%). It is found that the carbon footprint is proportional to the energy footprint, the proportional factor being 0.222 kgCO2eq/kWh within 0.5% accuracy. Finally, a systematic study of the sensitivity of input parameters (insulation, lifetime, foundation type) is presented.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Bonamente2015CarbonAE, title={Carbon and Energy Footprints of Prefabricated Industrial Buildings: A Systematic Life Cycle Assessment Analysis}, author={Emanuele Bonamente and Franco Cotana and N. H. Wong}, year={2015} }