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Requirements set by Swedish municipalities to promote construction with low climate change impact
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Building Materials.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2949-422X
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 208, p. 117-131Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates how Swedish municipalities work to reduce the climate change impact of building construction. It focuses on current practices related to promoting the use of sustainable construction materials and on barriers to environmental requirements in construction, in particular environmental performance requirements based on LCA procedures. Municipalities were surveyed about the existence of municipal policies dealing with environmental issues in construction, the knowledge level about these issues, and the measures and requirements used to promote materials with low climate change impact. The survey was followed by semi-structured interviews about current practices and barriers to environmental requirements in construction. Results show that large municipalities are more likely to have dedicated policies and implement more measures than their smaller counterparts. However, willingness to implement future measures and knowledge of sustainable construction do not vary significantly with municipality population. Efforts are often limited to procurement, municipal construction projects and discussions with stakeholders. When requirements are set, they are almost always based on prescribing a technical solution (e.g. use of timber) rather than assessing environmental performance (e.g. calculating greenhouse gases emissions with a LCA tool). Measures that municipalities can take as public authorities are restricted by the law, which remains ambiguous as to the legality of environmental performance requirements. Legal issues, limited knowledge and resources appear to be the main barriers to environmental performance requirements in construction. A strategy is proposed to o​v​e​r​

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019. Vol. 208, p. 117-131
Keywords [en]
LCA; life cycle assessment; livscykelanalys; municipality; kommun; construction; requirement; krav
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-244046DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.10.053ISI: 000451362200011Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85056186787OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-244046DiVA, id: diva2:1288903
Note

QC 20190218

Available from: 2019-02-14 Created: 2019-02-14 Last updated: 2019-02-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Buildings in municipal climate change mitigation strategies: towards life cycle thinking
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Buildings in municipal climate change mitigation strategies: towards life cycle thinking
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Fulfilling climate targets requires ambitious changes. The building sector is a large contributor to emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), but also offers opportunities for climate change impact reductions. This thesis aims at supporting strategic decisions to reach climate change mitigation targets in the building sector, based on knowledge about what factors contribute significantly to climate impact from buildings in a life cycle perspective and how practitioners can influence these factors. More specifically, a first point of investigation concerns what aspects play a key importance in buildings’ climate impact, and what climate change mitigation strategies for the building sector should focus on. A quantitative analysis of backcasting scenarios for 2050 was performed using a spreadsheet model to estimate GHG emissions for the building sector. The parameters were adjusted to ensure that a GHG emission quota was reached in every scenario. This provided an illustration of four very different ways the building sector could contribute to the fulfillment of a global climate change mitigation target. The results were used to discuss what aspects of buildings were particularly important for target fulfillment. These aspects include a low-carbon energy mix, a reduction of GHG emissions from construction materials and an optimized use of space. A second point of investigation concerns how municipalities can influence practices through the use of environmental requirements in construction, in particular requirements based on a life cycle approach. A survey of Swedish municipalities was used to assess their current practices and knowledge level regarding mitigating climate change impact from construction, as well as the influence of a municipality’s size on these practices. It was followed up by semi-structured interviews investigating barriers to the use of environmental requirements in construction. Barriers were identified regarding in-house skills, access to data, resources, ambiguities regarding the law and guidance from national authorities. A stepwise strategy was suggested to overcome these barriers and successfully implement environmental requirements. Therefore, the thesis as a whole provides insight on how municipalities could use environmental requirements in construction to influence current practices in the building sector, so that the changes needed to fulfill the 1.5℃ target are implemented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, 2019. p. 55
Series
TRITA-ABE-DLT ; 197
Keywords
building; lca; requirement; environmental performance; futures studies; backcasting; environmental engineering; sustainable urban planning
National Category
Environmental Management Other Civil Engineering
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis; Civil and Architectural Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-244063 (URN)978-91-7873-112-1 (ISBN)
Presentation
2019-04-03, E2, Lindstedtsvägen 3, E-huset, huvudbyggnaden, våningsplan 3, KTH Campus, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Note

QC 20190218

Available from: 2019-02-18 Created: 2019-02-15 Last updated: 2019-02-18Bibliographically approved

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Francart, NicolasErlandsson, MartinMalmqvist, Tove

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