An Overview of Building Lifecycle Embodied Carbon Emissions Research
Embargoed until: 2018-11-23
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The building and construction industry is a sector that is heavily tied to natural resources and contributes to a large discharge of greenhouse gas emissions. It is therewith critical for the entire industry to work towards sustainable design and construction with which environmental impacts could be utmost reduced. An overview of research reveals that the primary emission type, throughout a building lifecycle, constitutes emissions at the construction stage (a.k.a. upstream embodied carbon), as well as emissions at the operational stage. While there has been a significant research interest on mitigation strategies for curbing operational emissions, embodied emissions are generally overlooked. However, recent studies have revealed that reducing operating carbon is accompanied with a little increase in embodied carbon. Therefore, this study posits that both aspects, when tackling the global carbon emissions challenge, are equally important and need to be collectively examined, and a potential resolution would be identifying the interplay between embodied and operational carbon. According to the comprehensive review on the state-of-the-art literature pertaining to lifecycle carbon issues, this study reiterates the increasing significance of embodied carbon, urges that accurate assessment approaches for embodied carbon should be formulated, and recommends that the future research focus should be placed on holistic carbon assessment standard that could calibrate both embodied and operational carbon impacts.
Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate
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Civil Engineering not elsewhere classified