Explorative life-cycle assessment of renovating existing urban housing-stocks
Journal article, 2019

Urban building-stocks are responsible for a significant share of resource and energy use. To quantify the potential for reducing energy and environmental impact, building-stock modelling (BSM) is commonly used. Recently, the focus of BSM has expanded to include environmental impacts and life-cycle assessment (LCA). However, impact categories are often limited to climate change and representative buildings are often used. In addition, the future state of the stock is often calculated as a step-change to highlight the technical potential of an ideal future state. The aim of this paper is to assess the environmental impact of the future development of an urban housing-stock under business-as-usual scenarios using a building-specific GIS based model applied to the multi-family building stock of the City of Gothenburg. This paper uses an explorative LCA to account for environmental impacts based on dynamic uptake of common renovation measures and resulting energy savings until 2050. Two main scenarios are used where the renovation logic is based on either end-of-life of components or cost-effectiveness and further divided using limiting factors regarding investment capacity and annual share of the stock to be renovated. Results show possible energy savings of up to 23% and a corresponding 31% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. Greenhouse-gas emissions avoided due to reduced energy demand are offset by up to 65% by accounting for material use due to construction related renovation measures. For scenarios that favour construction related interventions, PV panels are responsible for the major part of the environmental impact across the 15 mid-point indicators used.

Building-stock modelling

Scenario modelling

Explorative LCA




Magnus Österbring

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Erika Mata

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Liane Thuvander

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods, Research - Architectural Theory and Method

Holger Wallbaum

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Building and Environment

0360-1323 (ISSN)

Vol. 165 106391

Developing sustainable trajectories for urban building-stocks

Swedish Energy Agency, 2014-07-01 -- 2017-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)


Subject Categories

Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology

Other Civil Engineering

Building Technologies



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