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Mapping embodied environmental impacts in the built environment

The energy associated with the construction and operation of buildings could represent more than 50% of the total energy demand (Anderson et al. 2015) and associated environmental impacts. Reducing building energy use and related environmental impacts is therefore critical in order to mitigate climate change and global warming at both the city and global scales (IPCC 2014).

However, current spatial decision support systems often do not consider embodied environmental impacts and focus mostly on building operational energy, e.g. Howard et al. (2012).

The aim of this project is to integrate building embodied energy, water, greenhouse gas emissions and materials into a graphical information system in order to inform future city planning and management decisions that will help reduce the environmental impact of the built environment.

The project combines the advanced hybrid life cycle assessment approach, graphical information systems and an advanced computer model to quantify embodied requirements in the City of Melbourne. The bottom-up approach, starting with building materials, combining these into typical assemblies and then estimating the bill of material quantities based on the characteristics of each building, provides a unique level of disaggregation and detail.

The project is currently underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

Dr. Aristide Athanassiadis, Dr. André Stephan
Supervisor(s) / Coordinator(s)
Dr. André Stephan
The University of Melbourne
Completion target date
More information

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