Environmental Impact of Buildings—Linking Impacts and Tools

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2016) | Viewed by 43154

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
CEris—Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability, Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Georesources, Lisbon University, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: building energy; sustainable built environment; sustainable construction; life cycle assessment; energy life cycle; rehabilitation and sustainability
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Building environmental impacts can be analyzed from multiple perspectives, namely: the type of building (environmental impacts of houses, commercial, office, data center, tourism, others); life cycle phases (design, construction, operation, refurbishment, end of life); and type of environmental impacts (soil, energy, CO2 emissions, material, waste, water, effluents, others).

All of these results also depend the tools that are used to make the analysis. This Special Issue argues that, in order to achieve low environmental impacts buildings, we need to understand the environmental impacts, namely the link with environmental impact assessment tools and weighting methods.

The Special Issue is a response to the growing concerns regarding the environmental impacts of buildings and the urgent need for identify and understand the best tools and their limitations. It also discusses what could be the best practice for different cases and impacts.

The Special Issue brings together current thinking and research regarding building environmental impact and linking this with the tools needed to assess them. Contributors from academia, software producers, designers, and managers allow a broad perspective and wide-ranging discussion on environmental impacts and what tools could be used. The papers submitted to this Special Issue are of interest to all those involved in activities across the built environment and related sectors.

This Special Issue focuses on environmental building impact, life cycle tools, and impact weightings.

Prof. Dr. Manuel Duarte Pinheiro
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


 

Keywords

 

  • environmental building impact
  • life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • LCA software
  • environmental impact databases
  • energy
  • GHG
  • materials, waste, water, effluents, soil, biodiversity, landscape
  • weighting environmental impact
  • sustainable certification systems
  • BIM

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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1734 KiB  
Article
Environmental Impact Assessment of a School Building in Iceland Using LCA-Including the Effect of Long Distance Transport of Materials
by Nargessadat Emami, Björn Marteinsson and Jukka Heinonen
Buildings 2016, 6(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings6040046 - 01 Nov 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 9684
Abstract
Buildings are the key components of urban areas and society as a complex system. A life cycle assessment was applied to estimate the environmental impacts of the resources applied in the building envelope, floor slabs, and interior walls of the Vættaskóli-Engi building in [...] Read more.
Buildings are the key components of urban areas and society as a complex system. A life cycle assessment was applied to estimate the environmental impacts of the resources applied in the building envelope, floor slabs, and interior walls of the Vættaskóli-Engi building in Reykjavik, Iceland. The scope of this study included four modules of extraction and transportation of raw material to the manufacturing site, production of the construction materials, and transport to the building site, as described in the standard EN 15804. The total environmental effects of the school building in terms of global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, human toxicity, acidification, and eutrophication were calculated. The total global warming potential impact was equal to 255 kg of CO2 eq/sqm, which was low compared to previous studies and was due to the limited system boundary of the current study. The effect of long-distance overseas transport of materials was noticeable in terms of acidification (25%) and eutrophication (31%) while it was negligible in other impact groups. The results also concluded that producing the cement in Iceland caused less environmental impact in all five impact categories compared to the case in which the cement was imported from Germany. The major contribution of this work is that the environmental impacts of different plans for domestic production or import of construction materials to Iceland can be precisely assessed in order to identify effective measures to move towards a sustainable built environment in Iceland, and also to provide consistent insights for stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact of Buildings—Linking Impacts and Tools)
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10973 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Play Provisions for Children in Urban Neighborhoods of India: Case Study Nagpur, Maharashtra
by Kirti D. Bhonsle and Vinayak S. Adane
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings6030031 - 17 Aug 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 6850
Abstract
The creation of satisfying urban environments calls for the planners, designers and policy makers to understand the structures that cause residents to feel satisfied with their environments. The paper focuses on qualitative aspects of the childrens play spaces in the urban neighborhoods of [...] Read more.
The creation of satisfying urban environments calls for the planners, designers and policy makers to understand the structures that cause residents to feel satisfied with their environments. The paper focuses on qualitative aspects of the childrens play spaces in the urban neighborhoods of Nagpur which were analysed with the background of their daily activity schedule survey, their assement of the existing play provisions and their aspirations from their neighborhood environment quality. Apart from these studies, the childrens and their parents perceptions of the quality of urban residential environments was also studied. The literature review gave an extract of relevant attributes of environmental quality (EQ) which became the theoritical basis for the work. The research generates an approach to assessing the child friendliness of our urban neighborhoods, which in certain ways is not even catering to the most fundamental right of the child to play; it also generates a matrix of children’s needs and parameters relevant to Indian context. A theoretical model of the residents satisfaction is also generated which forms the base for the qualitative questionnaire analysis in SPSS 20 with a set of dependent and independent variables which shows the correlation of the resident’s satisfaction with child friendliness of neighborhoods in the Indian context. The regression model and mathematical equation as an outcome of the qualitative analysis was also validated upon two other urban neighborhoods of the city of Nagpur. The research with all its tools used and the approach adopted can help in undertaking such child-centered researches in other cities of India which have their own unique issues and characteristics of urban growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact of Buildings—Linking Impacts and Tools)
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1287 KiB  
Article
The impact of Built Environment Characteristics on Metropolitans Energy Consumption: An Example of Greater Cairo Metropolitan Region
by Taher Osman, Prasanna Divigalpitiya and Mustafa M. Osman
Buildings 2016, 6(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings6020012 - 24 Mar 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6170
Abstract
This paper examined the influences of the built environment and socio-economic driving factors on domestic gasoline consumption in developing metropolitan regions through a case study of the greater Cairo metropolitan region (GCMR), Egypt. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used in analyzing the causality [...] Read more.
This paper examined the influences of the built environment and socio-economic driving factors on domestic gasoline consumption in developing metropolitan regions through a case study of the greater Cairo metropolitan region (GCMR), Egypt. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used in analyzing the causality of the domestic gasoline consumption. The influences of major factors hypothetically affecting the domestic energy consumption such as resident characteristics and built environment characteristics were examined. The results proved a high positive influence of the resident’s income and the number of adults as driving factors, directly and indirectly, affecting energy consumption levels. Population density and attitude towards eco-friendly driving factors proved to be a very low influence on energy consumption. The built environment driving factors such as access time to public transportation and related building characteristics factors proved to have a low impact on energy consumption. The study findings suggest that the design of a built environment should be well related to the socioeconomic factors to manage the domestic energy consumption in developing regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact of Buildings—Linking Impacts and Tools)
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Review

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1218 KiB  
Review
Estimation and Minimization of Embodied Carbon of Buildings: A Review
by Ali Akbarnezhad and Jianzhuang Xiao
Buildings 2017, 7(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7010005 - 04 Jan 2017
Cited by 117 | Viewed by 17274
Abstract
Building and construction is responsible for up to 30% of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, commonly reported in carbon equivalent unit. Carbon emissions are incurred in all stages of a building’s life cycle and are generally categorised into operating carbon and embodied [...] Read more.
Building and construction is responsible for up to 30% of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, commonly reported in carbon equivalent unit. Carbon emissions are incurred in all stages of a building’s life cycle and are generally categorised into operating carbon and embodied carbon, each making varying contributions to the life cycle carbon depending on the building’s characteristics. With recent advances in reducing the operating carbon of buildings, the available literature indicates a clear shift in attention towards investigating strategies to minimize embodied carbon. However, minimizing the embodied carbon of buildings is challenging and requires evaluating the effects of embodied carbon reduction strategies on the emissions incurred in different life cycle phases, as well as the operating carbon of the building. In this paper, the available literature on strategies for reducing the embodied carbon of buildings, as well as methods for estimating the embodied carbon of buildings, is reviewed and the strengths and weaknesses of each method are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact of Buildings—Linking Impacts and Tools)
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