Life Cycle Assessment of a BREEAM - With a focus on greenhouse gas emissions

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Life Cycle Assessment of a BREEAM - With a focus on greenhouse gas emissions
Authors: Augustsson, Anna
Abstract: The objective with this study is to evaluate how efficient the environmental certification system BREEAM is for newly constructed buildings, concerning reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is done by a comparison between a BREEAM certified building and a non-certified, fictive building. A Life Cycle Assessment is done in the software tool GaBi. The method starts with a goal and scope, where a functional unit of 1 m2 office floor area • year is chosen. The GaBi integrated databases Professional and Construction are used together with external data sets to perform an Inventory Analysis. After that the Impact Assessment is done, including the results of the impact characterisation in the form of charts showing the total GHG emissions from the two buildings. The results show that 22.0 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year are generated from the investigated processes of the certified building Koggen 2 and 33.8 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year are generated from the non-certified, fictive building. 61 % of the total emissions are generated from the fictive building, which indicates that the BREEAM certification is efficient when evaluating reduction of GHG emissions for the certified building in this study. The use phase generates most emissions, 20.4 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year for Koggen 2 and 32.7 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year for the fictive building. This stands for 93 and 97 % of the total emissions, which can be compared to other studies where around 80 % of the GHG emissions can be allocated to the use phase. Commuting is not included in all building related LCA studies, but in this study it is and stands for 19.5 kg CO,eq/m2•year for Koggen 2 and 19.1 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year for the fictive building, which makes it the biggest source of emissions during the use phase. Heating also generates emissions (1% of the total emissions from the use phase for Koggen 2 and 26 % for the fictive building) followed by operational electricity (1 % and 10 %). During the production phase, the external walls and the roof constructions contribute to the most emissions (0.80 and 0.58 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year respectively for Koggen 2 and 0.94 and 0.07 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year respectively for the fictive building). The building material that contributes to most emissions is concrete, with 0.96 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year for Koggen 2,which stands for 60 % of the emissions from the production phase of this building. The heat pumps are shown to be an efficient tool to reduce emissions from heating andcooling. Heating generates 0.253 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year for Koggen 2 and 8.4 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year for the fictive building. Cooling contributes to 0.074 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year for Koggen 2 and 1.79 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year for the fictive building. The production of the heat pumps generates 0.119 kg CO₂,eq/m2•year. Similar studies have shown that commuting, operational electricity, heating and concrete production are the main emitters of GHGs, which also the results of this study shows.
Keywords: Miljöteknik;Environmental engineering
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för energi och miljö
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Energy and Environment
Series/Report no.: Report - Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology : 2014:8
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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