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Embodied greenhouse gas emissions from refurbishment of residential building stock to achieve a 50% operational energy reduction
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9469-6023
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2949-422X
2014 (English)In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684X, Vol. 79, 46-56 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mitigating climate change through operational energy reduction in existing buildings is of highest priority for policy-makers in Europe and elsewhere. At the same time there is increasing understanding of the significance of impacts arising from material production for buildings. The aim of this work has therefore been to evaluate the importance of embodied GWP for refurbishment for operational energy reduction on a stockwide basis. It is further intended to judge the relative significance of embodied GWP for specific refurbishment measures implemented for operational energy reduction. We study the case of operational energy reduction in the Swedish residential building stock by 50% compared to 1995. The total embodied GWP to achieve the noted operational energy reduction is 0.35 Mt CO2-e/year. 83% of this total is due to ventilation and window measures alone. Compared with previous studies assessing GWP mitigation from operational energy reduction, the "GWP payback time" is just over 3 years. Many types of measure that contribute significantly to achieving the above operational energy goal had average embodied GWP between 10 and 20 g CO2-e/kW h operational energy reduction, notably window and ventilation measures. Indoor temperature reduction (to 20 degrees C), was also significant for stockwide operational energy reduction but had a very low GWP of 0.4 g CO2-e/kW h operational energy reduction. If this measure proves unfeasible to implement on a stockwide basis then more expensive measures with higher embodied GWP will be needed to achieve the stated energy reduction goal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 79, 46-56 p.
Keyword [en]
Life-cycle thinking, Climate change, Energy-efficiency, Building stocks, Refurbishment, Material
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-149960DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2014.04.018ISI: 000339696500005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84901327401OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-149960DiVA: diva2:744540
Funder
Formas, 2008-1816
Note

QC 20140908

Available from: 2014-09-08 Created: 2014-08-29 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Building renovation processes towards low greenhouse gas emissions and energy use
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building renovation processes towards low greenhouse gas emissions and energy use
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Buildings from the record year era are now 40 – 55 years old and in many cases in need of extensive renovation measures. This need for renovation could be seen as an opportunity to achieve overarching sustainability target levels and to perform renovation with a holistic approach. This thesis aims at creating support for the formulation and achievement of adequate environmental targets that relate to overarching Swedish Environmental Quality Objectives. The overall aim of the thesis is to contribute to an understanding of the current situation of environmental management in renovation processes. The scope of this thesis is limited to the aspects energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from energy use and material production. This thesis contributes to this aim with a stepwise procedure for evaluation of measures together with a proposal for target levels for three environmental aspects. The first paper appended to this thesis investigates how six Swedish property owners performed renovation projects. From this paper it can be concluded that the main barrier (except economic ones) are characterized by lack of knowledge about overarching objectives and what aspects define a sustainable built environment. The second paper assesses embodied GHG emissions due to material production for the totality of measures needed to reduce operational energy demand per unit heated floor area by 50% compared with 1995. On a national level, embodied GHG emissions are estimated to be 12% of the reduction of GHG emissions achieved by operational energy demand reduction. The final paper appended to this thesis uses a case study building to illustrate a working procedure to identify project-specific target levels for three environmental aspects. In addition, it identifies indicative improvements necessary for the achievement of long-term targets for those aspects, which could be focused and further investigated in later project stages with the help of a long-term plan of action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 36 p.
Series
TRITA-INFRA-FMS, ISSN 1652-5442 ; 2016:2
Keyword
Renovation processes, buildings, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, target levels
National Category
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192888 (URN)978-91-7729-114-5 (ISBN)
Presentation
2016-11-09, Q24, Osquldas väg 6B, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

QC 20160926

Available from: 2016-09-26 Created: 2016-09-22 Last updated: 2016-10-03Bibliographically approved
2. Managing high environmental performance?: Applying life cycle approaches and environmental certification tools in the building and real estate sectors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing high environmental performance?: Applying life cycle approaches and environmental certification tools in the building and real estate sectors
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The main aim of this thesis is  to demonstrate and critically assess life cycle approaches’ and environmental certification (EC) tools’ potential for supporting decisions for improved environmental performance in the building and real estate sectors.

Using life cycle approaches, the thesis shows that for new build and renovation cases aiming for low operational energy use that embodied global warming potential (GWP) due to material production can constitute a large portion of a building’s lifetime GWP. Therefore life cycle based information about materials’ embodied GWP needs to be made available to and utilized by design process decision makers.

It was also shown that applying the Swedish EC tool Miljöbyggnad was useful in highlighting potential positive and negative changes in indoor environmental quality arising from renovation packages aiming at significant operational energy use reduction in existing multifamily buildings. However such renovation packages are not profitable from a property owner perspective. Miljöbyggnad may be useful when designing policy instruments to overcome this.   

The thesis also showed that EC and related environmental enhancements contribute to achieving property owners’ and tenants’ overall strategic objectives for value creation. For property owners this arises for example through lower energy costs and attracting desirable tenants. For tenants, value creation arises as support for internal and external environmental communication.

For the further development of life cycle approaches’ and EC tools’ application to buildings and real estate it is important to consider how they can be adapted to consider ‘distance to sustainable’ targets referencing for instance the planetary boundaries approach. It is also interesting to investigate how valuation of buildings and real estate may be performed in a way that expands from the current narrow focus on the economic perspective to also include environmental and social perspectives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm, Sweden: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. 111 p.
Series
TRITA-INFRA-FMS-PHD, 2017:01
Keyword
Buildings, operational energy use, life cycle assessment, environmental certification, environmental assessment, renovation, strategy, design process, value creation, embodied environmental impacts
National Category
Environmental Management Building Technologies Architecture
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-201614 (URN)978-91-7729-284-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-03-17, D2, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 09:30
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2008-1816Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-224EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, FP7-ENV-2007-1
Note

QC 20170210

Available from: 2017-02-10 Created: 2017-02-10 Last updated: 2017-03-23Bibliographically approved

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