The building sector is responsible for a significant proportion of a nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. In an attempt to mitigate these emissions, industry and government have been mainly focussed on reducing operational emissions associated with buildings, leaving the embodied emissions largely ignored.
Evaluating building design options with a focus on simultaneously minimising life cycle greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and life cycle cost (LCC) is difficult due to a lack of comprehensive and accessible tools. An integrated approach where life cycle GHG and LCC performance can be balanced is essential in order to optimise a building's overall life cycle performance.
As global population and urbanization increase, so do the direct and indirect environmental impacts of construction around the world. Low-impact products, buildings, precincts and cities are needed to mitigate the effects of building construction and use. Analysis of embodied energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across these scales is becoming more important to support this direction.
New research shows that 90 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions are emitted annually in constructing new buildings and infrastructure and maintaining the existing ones. Reducing this liability of “embodied” emissions will be much harder than building zero-carbon buildings. Here is why.
Foreword: The Architectural Science Association (ASA), formally known as the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA), was established in 1963 with the goal of promoting architectural science, theory, education and practice. A particular focus of ASA is the development, documentation and application of innovative approaches to environmentally sustainable design.
While relocatable, prefabricated learning environments have formed an important component of school infrastructure in Australia, prefabrication for permanent school buildings is a new and emerging field. This review of prefabrication for schools is timely. In 2017, Australia’s two largest state education departments committed to prefabrication programs for permanent school infrastructure.
Energy efficient houses are often thought to be a promising way to reduce our environmental footprint by using less energy and producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, surprisingly, if you consider the whole life cycle of a house, it turns out that sometimes a new home designed to save energy can end up using more than an average house.
Many cities around the world are looking for ways to reduce their per capita greenhouse gas emissions. The outward growth of cities from a central business district, typical of many cities around the world, is often seen as working against this goal and as unsustainable.
Cities can be seen as complex urban systems that mobilise local and global resource flows to meet the needs of their inhabitants and their manufacturing sector. However, the local consumption of resources can be responsible for major local and global environmental changes that impact the human health and wellbeing inside and outside of the boundary of the urban system.