A spatio-temporal life cycle assessment framework for building renovation scenarios at the urban scale

Mastrucci, A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5611-7780, Marvuglia, A., Benetto, E., & Leopold, U. (2020). A spatio-temporal life cycle assessment framework for building renovation scenarios at the urban scale. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 126 e109834. 10.1016/j.rser.2020.109834.

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Reducing the energy consumption of buildings is a priority for carbon emissions mitigation in urban areas. Building stock energy models have been developed to support decisions of public authorities in renovation strategies. However, the burdens of renovation interventions and their temporal distribution are mostly overlooked, leading to potential overestimation of environmental benefits. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) provides a holistic estimation of environmental impacts, but further developments are needed to correctly consider spatio-temporal aspects.

We propose a spatio-temporal LCA framework to assess renovation scenarios of urban housing stocks, integrating: 1) a geospatial building-by-building stock model, 2) energy demand modelling, 3) product-based LCA, and 4) a scenario generator. Temporal aspects are considered both in the lifecycle inventory and the lifecycle impact assessment phases, by accounting for the evolution of the existing housing stock and applying time-adjusted carbon footprint calculation.

We apply the framework for the carbon footprint assessment of housing renovation in Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg). Results show that the renovation stage represents 4%–16% of the carbon footprint in the residual service life of existing buildings, respectively after conventional or advanced renovations. Under current renovation rates, the carbon footprint reduction would be limited to 3–4% by 2030. Pushing renovation rates to 3%, enables carbon reductions up to 28% by 2030 when combined with advanced renovations. Carbon reductions in the operational stage of buildings are offset by 8–9% due to the impacts of renovation. Using time-adjusted emissions results in higher weight for the renovation stage and slightly lower benefits for renovation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Building stock renovation; Urban energy planning; Life cycle assessment; Geographical information systems; Carbon footprint; Time-adjusted emission accounting
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2020 07:08
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:32
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16402

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