Lifecycle Impacts of Structural Frame Materials for Multi-storey Building Systems
Keywords: building frame material, concrete, life cycle analysis, passive house, timber.
AbstractIn this study the lifecycle primary energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) implications of multi-storeybuilding versions with different structural frame materials as well as construction systems are analysedconsidering flows from the production, operation and end-of-life phases and the full natural resourceschains. The analysed building versions include conventional and modern construction systems withlight-frame timber, reinforced concrete-frame, massive timber frame, beam-and-column timber frameor modular timber frame structural systems and are designed to the energy efficiency level of thepassive house criteria. The results show that the lifecycle primary energy use and GHG emissions forthe reinforced concrete building system are higher than those for the timber-based building systems,due primarily to the lower production primary energy use and GHG emissions as well as greater amountof biomass residues when using wood-based materials. The operation primary energy use and GHGemission for the buildings are lower when heated with cogenerated district heating compared to whenheated with electric-based heat pump, showing the significance of heat supply choice. The findingsemphasize the importance of structural frame material choice and system-wide lifecycle perspective inreducing primary energy use and GHG emissions in the built environment.
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