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Research Articles

Cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment of energy and carbon of a residential building in Sri Lanka

Authors:

Ramya Priyangani Kumanayake ,

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, LK
About Ramya
Department of Civil Engineering
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Hanbin Luo

Huazhong University of Science and Technology, CN
About Hanbin
School of Civil Engineering and Mechanics
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Abstract

The growing concerns over the environment have led to increasing demand for environmentally-friendly buildings. So far, only a few studies on environmental impacts of buildings have been conducted in the context of Sri Lanka. Reliable data sources that match the specific conditions of the country are limited. Using the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, this paper presents a cradle-to-gate energy and carbon emission study of a multi-storey residential building in a Sri Lankan university. The total embodied energy and carbon of the building are 3.84 GJm-2 and 229.34 kgCO2m-2, respectively, which are comparable with results of similar studies found in literature. Reinforced concrete, the main structural material, contributed to 61 % of total embodied energy and 71 % of total embodied carbon of the building. Despite the relatively low material quantity used, aluminium, ceramic tiles and paint shared 18.67 % of total embodied energy. In order to achieve low-energy and low-carbon buildings in Sri Lanka, several strategies were identified; suitable construction practices and building designs to reduce quantities of mass materials, use of alternative materials with low energy and carbon intensities, material recycling and reuse, use of clean and renewable energy for production processes and popularising the concept of eco-labels for building materials. The reduction of embodied energy and carbon is expected to lighten the environmental footprint of buildings.

How to Cite: Kumanayake, R.P. and Luo, H., 2018. Cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment of energy and carbon of a residential building in Sri Lanka. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 46(3), pp.355–367. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v46i3.8487
Published on 30 Sep 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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