|dc.description.abstract||In the context of the global trend towards reducing the carbon footprint of
buildings, the design team must make decisions, which have major consequences
on the carbon footprint. This should be during the early stages of the building
design process, as changes made later on can be costly. Although Life-Cycle
Assessment (LCA) is the ‘gold standard’ method to evaluate the design from
'cradle to grave'.
The lack of detail available on the concept design makes LCA very difficult if
not impossible. Unfortunately, this is the very stage at which decisions are made
that have a most significant influence on the life cycle. In order to support
designers, a database of LCA case studies data is needed, accessible to designers
and decision makers, and giving guidance on specific areas of significant impact,
on which they can concentrate to reduce the building’s total impact. The work in
this thesis sets out to address this need.
This thesis presents life-cycle case studies of two new-build offices in Scotland
that could be used as guidance during the concept stage of the design process.
This is achieved by modelling the carbon emissions of different life-cycle stages,
and different building materials and components used in building activities. The
hypothesis that the current trend of office building in Scotland produces
buildings which are relatively lower in their emissions than those reported in the
literature is tested by a full life-cycle assessment of two new-build offices in
Edinburgh. Scenario and sensitivity analysis is used to assess the future of office
buildings in Scotland.
The carbon dioxide emissions of the two case study buildings, when normalised
according to floor area, are similar and lie towards the lower end of the range of
worldwide data reported in the literature. Sensitivity analysis shows that the life
cycle results are affected by changes in design parameters, and are highly
sensitive to the assumptions about the future made at the design stage, such as
future changes in electricity generation over time, refurbishment and recycling.
Large savings in carbon dioxide emissions can result from small changes at the
design stage, such as glazing ratios and the provision of parking. Some of these
are fields for future research and development.||en_US