Environmental Impact Balance of Building Structures and Substitution Effect of Wood Structure in Taiwan

Hasim Altan; Shenghan Li
Energy consumption and CO2 emissions of building materials are examples of the perhaps most basic problems in construction sector for the built-environment. In this paper life cycle assessment (LCA) method is applied to the analysis of building structures (reinforced concrete structure, steel structure and wood structure) in Taiwan. This paper first discusses environmental burdens of reinforced concrete structure, wood structure and steel structure in Taiwan from cradle to gate perspectives. Secondly, material recovery strategy is adopted for analysing the balance of environmental impacts of structures in terms of embodied energy consumption and embodied CO2 emissions. The influential factors for assessing quantitative results include material extraction, manufacturing process, transportation and recovery phase. The outcomes show that wood structure has highly environmentally friendly potential than that reinforced concrete and steel structures from cradle to gate perspectives and, further, if recovery strategy is taken, wood structure still has the lowest environmental impacts in Taiwan.
Life Cycle; Embodied Energy; Embodied CO2; Material Recovery, Wood Structure
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