Our humble 5×4 Project has developed more global momentum this week after being presented at the World Sustainability Conference (WSC) in Barcelona. A case study on the project by R.H. Crawford and T. Hollingsbee was presented, which assessed the Embodied Energy of our building, and how we have optimised its energy performance. The Embodied Energy is the consumption of energy over the lifespan of the building, including construction, materials manufacturing, and of course recurring energy costs – such as appliances etc.
The case study and resulting presentation looked at measures that the 5×4 project had taken to substantially lower the embodied energy of the building, and using environmentally friendly materials and appliances, building consciously for minimum energy consumption, and finally generating green electricity through solar power to cover the remaining energy costs.
Click here to download the complete paper, or visit the WSC website for more about their sustainable ambitions and their next conference in 2017.
Archive for the ‘Embodied Energy’ Category
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Meeting held on Tuesday 6th August – GHD offices Melbourne
A range of construction assemblies were selected based on optimised thermal performance and a selection of standard and low impact materials.
Eleven different floor assembly variations and 52 different wall assembly variations were considered.
The total life cycle embodied energy of these assemblies was calculated using a comprehensive hybrid embodied energy assessment approach.
This included the energy embodied in the materials/assemblies for the initial construction of the project as well as the energy embodied in replacement materials over an estimated building life of 100 years. Average material replacement rates were used.
Assembly embodied energy figures were graphed and compared.
Major points that arose from the discussion of the embodied energy assessment results included:
• Materials with a high recycled content are preferred as they tend to have a lower embodied energy compared to virgin material alternatives
• Longevity and durability of materials needs to be considered as materials with a low embodied energy but that require frequent replacement can be a poor choice, resulting in a higher life cycle embodied energy than more durable materials
• Solid timber products are preferred over manufactured/processed timber products
• The embodied energy of some insulation products can be significant
• The embodied energy of glass can be considerable and the need for double and triple glazing systems must be balanced with the level of thermal performance they can provide
• Double-glazed spandrel panels should be avoided considering their high embodied energy
• The importance of minimising the embodied energy associated with the building’s initial construction was highlighted. Energy expended in the future (for replacement materials and building operation) is likely to be less carbon intensive than the energy presently being used in the manufacture of materials.
It is important that by minimising embodied energy that the thermal/operational performance of the building is not adversely affected. The next stage involves assessing the life cycle energy/carbon implications of a smaller range of optimised assemblies, based on the knowledge gained from this initial analysis.
Dr. Robert Crawford
Senior Lecturer in Construction and Environmental Assessment
Click on the images below to open the full documents.
The Project Team met today to discuss the Embodied Energy of the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project. The total embodied energy of the Project will be measured and assessed by Dr Robert Crawford.
We discussed the challenges that would be met with measuring the embodied energy…
– The hardest part about the analysis is getting the quantities
– Assumptions can be made based on past knowledge but it wouldn’t be as accurate
– Also need to consider how much of each material goes into construction
– Specification of each material required (i.e. thickness, density) to make a better assessment
– Difficulty in comparing materials (i.e. How to figure out comparable quantities for different types of materials)
– Acquiring life-cycle assessments (LCAs) from the manufacturers of products used can be difficult
– Considering the build-up of materials, durability and the recurrent embodied energy
– Ensuring the energy savings is greater than the energy output
– How the design life for the build would affect the embodied energy
In the next few weeks, the Project’s Architect and Engineers will work together to come up with a detailed material analysis, with details about their quantum of area and volumes to be used in the Project. This will then assist Dr Robert Crawford in assessing the embodied energy, allowing for us to come up with the most ecologically friendly product and material solutions for the build.