Database of Embodied Quantity Outputs: Lowering Material Impacts Through Engineering
Journal article, 2020

Current studies and performance labels focus mainly on the operational energy demand of buildings due to heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, and hot water, but they rarely account for embodied impacts. Performing a life cycle assessment (LCA) on an entire building structure, let alone a building, requires time and data, both of which are often lacking for practitioners in the construction industry. Limited knowledge on the embodied carbon equivalent of building structures led to the benchmarking effort of the database of embodied quantity outputs (DEQO), developed by the first author over the last 6 years in close collaboration with industry and academia. DEQO collects material quantities for existing buildings in a robust way directly from industry. This paper presents the lessons learned from this database to define the next steps for structural engineers to lower the environmental impacts related to the material quantities in their projects. To create confidence and comparability in the results, recommendations are given such as implementing uncertainty analysis into practice to avoid inaccurate comparisons with a false sense of precision.

Embodied carbon

Benchmarking

Building structures

Structural engineering

Database

Author

Catherine de Wolf

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)

Endrit Hoxha

Technische Universität Graz

Alexander Hollberg

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Corentin Fivet

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)

John Ochsendorf

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Journal of Architectural Engineering

1076-0431 (ISSN)

Vol. 26 3

Subject Categories

Architectural Engineering

Construction Management

Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology

Building Technologies

DOI

10.1061/(ASCE)AE.1943-5568.0000408

More information

Latest update

1/7/2021 8