Embodied carbon in commercial office buildings: Lessons learned from Sri Lanka

Ranathungage, Amalka Nawarathna, Alwan, Zaid, Gledson, Barry and Fernando, Nirodha (2021) Embodied carbon in commercial office buildings: Lessons learned from Sri Lanka. Journal of Building Engineering, 42. p. 102441. ISSN 2352-7102

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2021.102441

Abstract

Growing concerns over the importance of reducing the embodied carbon (EC) of buildings have led to a greater focus on EC-related research and policymaking. Nevertheless, the Sri Lankan building sector is currently lagging behind on this issue. While a few studies have been conducted on the EC impacts of different buildings, further research is needed on impact estimation in order to inform policies and guidelines on EC reduction, with assessment or estimation being the main driver towards reduction. Thus, this study aims to present, evaluate, and discuss EC assessment methodology and the assessment results drawn from twenty case studies in Sri Lanka, including low-, medium-, and high-rise office buildings. The results indicated that the EC extent of buildings ranged between 384.45 and 677.39 kgCO2e/m2. The average EC extent of each building category was valued at 522.18 kgCO2e/m2 (low-rise buildings), 457.85 kgCO2e/m2 (medium rise), and 567.51kgCO2e/m2 (high-rise). Irrespective of the building category, the substructure, frame, upper floors, and external walls were identified as the carbon critical elements, accounting for about 85–95% of overall EC. Internal walls and partitions, stairs and ramps, and roof elements were insignificant carbon elements, contributing less than 20% of EC. This study further revealed some practical indications on optimal EC reduction strategies for office buildings. Importantly, the overall work provided quantitative information that enables the decision-makers to make decisions on reducing EC of buildings in Sri Lanka.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: carbon critical elements, embodied carbon, life cycle assessment, office buildings, Sri Lanka
Subjects: H300 Mechanical Engineering
K100 Architecture
K200 Building
K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2021 07:54
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2021 08:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45990

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