Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Environmental footprint assessment of building structures: A comparative study
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.
2016 (English)In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684X, Vol. 104, 162-171 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Following the failure to implement a rather sophisticated Excel-based environmental assessment tool, environmental load profile (ELP) in the Swedish construction industry, the City of Stockholm further developed a simplified version focusing on materials to make the tool user friendly and simple, aiming at educating stakeholders in the design phase of building construction. This study evaluated whether this simplified ELP of building structures (ELP-s) can be used directly or modified for use as a simple standard model for calculating the environmental footprint of building structures. ELP-s was compared with the two leading commercial LCA softwares, GaBi and SimaPro, based on two reference buildings: (i) a concrete and (ii) a wooden building, in order to examine the importance of material selection and the simplification of the tool. The results showed that the estimated energy footprint obtained using ELP-s was close in value to that produced by GaBi and SimaPro, but that carbon footprint was much lower with ELP-s. This great deviation in carbon footprint can be explained by the lower GHG emissions intensity per unit energy in Sweden compared with the world average or European average, the major data sources on which estimations in GaBi and SimaPro are based. These results indicate the importance of exercising care when applying commercial software tools to a specific situation in a specific country. They also indicate that the model should fit the purpose.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 104, 162-171 p.
Keyword [en]
Environmental assessment tools, Environmental footprints, Life cycle assessment, Buildings, Environmental load profile
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-190656DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2016.05.012ISI: 000378955500017ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84966746591OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-190656DiVA: diva2:953222
Note

QC 20160817

Available from: 2016-08-17 Created: 2016-08-12 Last updated: 2016-08-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Systems Modeling Approaches to Physical Resource Management: An Industrial Ecology Perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Systems Modeling Approaches to Physical Resource Management: An Industrial Ecology Perspective
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many of the present problems that we are facing arise as unanticipated side-effects of our own actions. Moreover, the solutions implemented to solve important problems often create new problems. To avoid unintended consequences, understanding complex systems is essential in devising policy instruments and in improving environmental management. Thus, this thesis investigated systems modeling approaches to under- stand complex systems and monitor the environmental performance of management actions. The overall aim of the work was to investigate the usefulness of different systems modeling approaches in supporting environmental management. A driver- based, pressure-oriented approach was adopted to investigate systems modeling tools. Material/substance flow analysis, environmental footprinting, input-output analysis, process-based dynamic modeling, and systems dynamics modeling approaches were applied in different cases to investigate strengths and weaknesses of the tools in generating an understanding of complex systems. Three modeling and accounting approaches were also tested at different systems scales to support environmental mon- itoring. Static modeling approaches were identified as fundamental to map, account, and monitor physical resource metabolism in production and consumption systems, whereas dynamic modeling showed strengths in understanding complex systems. The results suggested that dynamic modeling approaches should be conducted on top of static analysis to understand the complexity of systems when devising and testing policy instruments. To achieve proactive monitoring, a pressure-based assessment was proposed instead of the mainstream impact/state-based approach. It was also concluded that the LCA community should shift the focus of its assessments to pressures instead of impacts. 

Abstract [sv]

Många nuvarande miljö- och utvecklingsproblem har uppstått som oförutsedda biverkningar av människans egna handlingar. De lösningar som prövats har i sin tur ofta skapat  nya problem. Det därför viktigt att förstå hur komplexa system fungerar och att utforma styrmedel och ledningssystem som minimerar risken för oönskade bieffekter. Den här avhandling har använt olika modelleringsmetoder för att öka förståelsen för komplexa system och bidra med kunskaper om hur miljöprestanda och förvaltningsåtgärder kan följas upp på ett mer effektivt sätt. Det övergripande syftet med arbetet var att undersöka användbarheten av olika modelleringsmetoder för att effektivisera den fysiska resurshanteringen i samhället. I arbetet har ett flödesbaserat och aktörsinriktat arbetssätt (pressure based and driver oriented approach) använts i modelleringen.  Material- och substansflödesanalys, miljöfotavtryck, input-output analys, processbaserad dynamisk modellering och systemdynamiska modelleringsmetoder studerades för att undersöka styrkor och svagheter hos de olika metoderna/verktygen.  Tre olika modellerings- och redovisningsmetoder för att stödja miljöövervakning testades också i olika systemskalor. Statiska modelleringsmetoder (räkenskaper) identifierades som grundläggande för att kartlägga, kontoföra och övervaka den fysiska resursmetabolismen i produktions- och konsumtionssystem, medan dynamisk modellering visade sin styrka i att skapa förståelse för komplexa system. Resultaten pekar på att dynamiska modelleringsmetoder bör användas som ett komplement till statiska analyser för att förstå komplexiteten i systemen när man utformar och testar styrmedel. För att uppnå proaktiv övervakning bör flödesbaserade räkenskaper utnyttjas i större utsträckning i stället för den vanliga tillstånds- och påverkansövervakningen (state/impact monitoring). En viktig slutsats är därför att LCA-samfundet bör flytta fokus i sina bedömningar från påverkan till flöden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 74 p.
Series
, TRITA-IM-PHD 2016:04, 2016:04
Keyword
Complex systems modeling, environmental accounting and monitoring, en- vironmental footprint, industrial ecology, pressure-based driver-oriented approach, Modellering av komplexa system, miljöräkenskaper och miljöövervakning, miljöpåverkan, industriell ekologi, flödesbaserad övervakningaktörsorienterad strategi
National Category
Energy Systems Environmental Management
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-191327 (URN)ISBN: 978-91-7729-077-3 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2016-09-22, Sal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160830

Available from: 2016-08-30 Created: 2016-08-29 Last updated: 2016-08-30Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Sinha, RajibFrostell, Bjorn
By organisation
Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering
In the same journal
Building and Environment
Environmental Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 6 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link