John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Comparison of different building shells ‐ life cycle assessment

The REACT (Renewable Energy & Efficiency Action) project is an EU‐funded cross‐border cooperative venture featuring the participation of companies and researchers from Burgenland (Austria) and western Slovakia that is developing zero energy concepts for newly built single‐family homes. A variety of building structures are defined for family houses, and the different impacts they have on the environment are evaluated over the entire life cycle. This paper aims to compare the environmental impacts of different building shells during both the construction and the demolition phases. However, the operation phase of the building is not evaluated. One of the findings of the project thus far is that the demolition and disposal of building materials should be included in any such evaluation. For some environmental impact assessment categories, both demolition and disposal are important. The environmental impacts of various end‐of‐life scenarios can differ greatly based on the disposal method (e.g., landfill, incineration, recycling, etc.) chosen and on the proportion of recycled content. Furthermore, the results show that manufacturing building materials from renewable resources can have strong environmental impacts, particularly when substantial amounts of fossil fuel are required in their production. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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