A Preliminary Investigation into the Sustainable Design of Structures
Paper in proceedings, 2012
An important part of designing a sustainable structure is to minimize the negative impacts of the structure over its entire life-cycle, including the initial (design and construction), operation, and end-of-life phases. Conventional approaches for the design of structures that deal explicitly with sustainability, normally are focused on a small number of specific impacts and processes, e.g. the amount of CO2 emitted during the production of the building materials and ignore the time dependent structural performance. In such cases, the negative impacts related to the performance of structures during normal operation are neglected. Conventional approaches for the design of structures that deal explicitly with time dependent structural performance, normally take into consideration only a small number of negative impacts related to structural performance. This is done through the use of defined limit states, i.e. thresholds for acceptable performance, e.g. a deflection limit on a column under a given load. For such cases the variations in the values of impacts that are considered, e.g. costs of labor used in interventions that are to be executed if a failure occurs, when the structure is performing on either side of the limit states are neglected, and the values of many impacts that should be considered are not, e.g. the amount of CO2 produced during maintenance interventions.
In this paper, the results of a preliminary investigation with respect to how these two approaches could be combined is presented. The potential impact of such a combination on structural design is demonstrated using a building column.