Optimizing embodied energy of building construction through bioclimatic principles

Sattary, Sattar and Thorpe, David (2012) Optimizing embodied energy of building construction through bioclimatic principles. In: 28th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference (ARCOM 2012), 3-5 Sep 2012, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.


Climate change and global warming are major issues in sustainable development, with the building sector being responsible for more than one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and in many countries being the largest source of these emissions. It is believed today buildings are responsible for more than half of the energy consumption worldwide, significantly contributing with the carbon dioxide emissions they are responsible to the very cause of climate change. The knowledge gap that exists with respect to how emissions from built environments can be reduced and mitigated, how buildings and components can adapt to shifts in global and local climate must be filled (Altomonte 2008). A significant proportion of the energy consumed by the building over its life cycle is the embodied energy in building materials and construction processes. The intergovernmental panel on climate change estimated that around 30% of the base line carbon dioxide emissions in buildings projected for 2020 could be mitigated in a cost-effective way globally, at no or even negative costs, if bioclimatic principles were considered in material selection and construction stages of buildings, thus reducing their embodied energy. There are three major ways to reduce energy consumption: reducing building energy use, replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy, and increasing energy efficiency. Therefore, reducing embodied energy in buildings has come into focus as one of the issues in reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Reducing embodied energy of buildings by using bioclimatic principles to achieve optimum embodied energy use can improve energy efficiency, and importantly reduce costs and lifecycle energy use. The paper discusses the use of bioclimatic design techniques to identify criteria that can be used to decrease the embodied energy used in building materials and construction processes. The criteria can assist with developing a model and checklist to apply for an optimum embodied energy of actual building which includes both pre-construction and construction stages.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 22755
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Association of Researchers in Construction Management. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form (including photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means whether or not transient or incidentally to some other use of this publication) without the permission of the copyright holder.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 10 May 2013 01:07
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2014 02:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: optimum; embodied energy; energy reduction; construction management; sustainability; environmental construction process
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090503 Construction Materials
12 Built Environment and Design > 1201 Architecture > 120104 Architectural Science and Technology (incl. Acoustics, Lighting, Structure and Ecologically Sustainable Design)
09 Engineering > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090703 Environmental Technologies
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400505 Construction materials
33 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 3301 Architecture > 330105 Architectural science and technology
40 ENGINEERING > 4011 Environmental engineering > 401102 Environmentally sustainable engineering
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 87 Construction > 8798 Environmentally Sustainable Construction > 879802 Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Construction Activities
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/22755

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only