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Title: Climate change influence on building lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions
Author: Williams , David R.
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2013
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As a consequence of most building's long lifespan, changing weather conditions driven by climate change, are likely to influence energy demands for heating and cooling, thereby altering lifecycle Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. This research develops a method to allow estimation of these emissions in the early design stage, accounting for potential future weather conditions projected by the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP). The method covers both the operational performance of buildings across a lifecycle, as well as allowing investigation of GHG emissions due to upstream manufacture, transportation and construction of building materials and components. The research has developed a novel method to allow operational OHO emissions to be estimated directly from the outputs of the UKCIP Weather Generator tool. These operational GHG emissions are estimated from projected future temperatures using a model 'calibrated' to building performance through dynamic thermal simulation of a selection of example weather years. The new method has also been developed to allow lifecycle GHG emissions to be estimated using software tools regularly applied for compliance with energy efficiency legislation. The result is a process that can estimate upstream and future GHG emissions quickly to ensure information is readily available to designers. Investigation of a real 'mixed-use' building showed upstream emissions contributed over 20% to total lifecycle GHGs, indicating wider industry focus in this area may be appropriate. The case study also showed annual GHG emissions due to space cooling could increase by between 26 and 70% from 2020 to 2080. Over the same period, emissions due to heating may decrease by between 12 and 42%, giving an overall net increase in GHG emissions from these systems. This research has highlighted the potential significance of climate change on building life cycle performance and provided a tested design framework to allow Parsons Brinckerhoff to limit life cycle GHG emissions from new building designs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Eng.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available