Environmental Assessment of Typical Construction Solutions in Residential Buildings in Greece
AbstractClimatic change has been one of the most important issues that occupies the scientific community around the world for many years now and affects economic, environmental and social policies. A continuous effort is made in order to manage and reduce the demand and consumption of both energy and materials, with the further goal of reducing environmental impacts in all sectors of the constantly developing society. One of the most important sectors that are being developed, following the ongoing global urbanization and population growth, striving to meet the increasing demand is the construction sector. For the proper management of the demand and consumption legalization has been adopted and methodologies and tools have been created. In the European Union such an effort is the European Community Law 2002/91/EC which appears in the Greek legislation by the law 3661/2008 and the Regulation of the Energy Performance of Buildings (ΚΕΝΑΚ, 2010), aiming to upgrade the existing building stock and compliance the future construction to the new requirements (ΤΟΤΕΕ20701−2, 2010). This is an effort to reduce the environmental impacts from the energy consumption in the building sector. Another important issue is the environmental impact from the materials and the stages of the construction of the building. In this scientific area efforts in Europe have been made such as the Environmental Product Declaration. A helpful tool for this analysis, which has not yet widely been used in Greece, is the LCA (Life Cycle Assessment), which is used to calculate the environmental impact throughout the life cycle of a material, a product or a process. The aim of this paper was to provide the ideal construction solution for the opaque elements of the building envelope of residential buildings in Greece and also create a database from which an engineer or a contractor, at the design stage of the building, can use to choose the solution with the least environmental impact depending on the climatic zone and its energy performance, according to the Regulation of Energy Performance in Buildings (ΚΕΝΑΚ, 2010), that is going to be constructed.
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