Relative importance of electricity sources and construction practices in residential buildings: A Swiss-US comparison of energy related life-cycle impacts
Journal article, 2014

Comparisons of buildings in similar climates built in accordance with different regional construction practices and building rating systems can provide useful insights in sustainable design practices. The objectives of this study were: (1) to perform energy related life cycle assessments of a typical LEED-H (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes) single-family home in New Jersey (US), and a typical Minergie-P single-family home in Chur, Switzerland; and (2) to assess the effect of rating systems and construction practices on the buildings’ environmental impacts. Inventory data was obtained from the Ecoinvent 2.2 database with a replacement of the Western European electricity mix with the US or New Jersey electricity mix for the New Jersey home. The Swiss building performed better regarding nonrenewable energy consumption, Global Warming Potential and Acidification Potential mainly due to the geothermal heat pump and the Swiss electricity mix while there was less of a difference regarding Ozone Layer Depletion Potential and Eutrophication Potential. The influence of electricity sources exceeded the effects of longer building life time or the removal of the Swiss basement. Regional building practices, local codes and environmental policies should take the electricity mix into account because it is so important.

Energy-related impacts

Residential buildings

Life cycle assessment

Building rating systems

Author

Martín Mosteiro-Romero

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Uta Krogmann

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Holger Wallbaum

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Building Technology

York Ostermeyer

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Building Technology

Jennifer S. Senick

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Clinton J. Andrews

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Energy and Buildings

0378-7788 (ISSN)

Vol. 68 PARTA 620-631

Subject Categories

Architectural Engineering

Other Environmental Engineering

Environmental Management

Energy Systems

Building Technologies

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

DOI

10.1016/j.enbuild.2013.09.046

More information

Created

10/6/2017