Potential carbon emission reductions in Australian construction systems through bioclimatic principles

Sattary, Sattar and Thorpe, David (2016) Potential carbon emission reductions in Australian construction systems through bioclimatic principles. Sustainable Cities and Society, 23. pp. 105-113. ISSN 2210-6707


The building sector responsible for 40 per cent of energy use (UNEP SBCI Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative, 2010); by 2030, a total of 60 Mt of carbon-reduction opportunities can be found in the Australian building sector (McKinsey, 2008). Reduction in the carbon emissions from Australian buildings is thus a priority for the Federal government. In Australia the government recently announced plan to cut emissions by 26–28 per cent by 2030 (Federal Politics, 2015). This study concerns energy use in building construction and the degree of carbon emissions reduction that can be achieved through use of bioclimatic principles.

Criteria of the model proposed in this research have been developed through analyzing bioclimatic principles to measure the potential construction carbon emissions that can be reduced in pre-construction and construction (cradle to site) stages during the lifecycle stages of a building. The developed model examines six case studies from Australia and the UK.

The outcomes of this research clearly shows that by use of bioclimatic principles up to 65 per cent reduction in construction carbon emissions can be achieved for a whole building systems (floor, wall and roof), while current best construction practice (i.e. a graded by Green Star) at the highest level achieve less than 32 per cent reduction.

However the future of the green construction industry lies on taking into account the bioclimatic principles- such as replacing conventional building materials with more energy efficient materials (i.e. replacing Portland cement with geopolymer based cement); reusing the recycled construction materials; reducing transportation and other similar initiatives.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2016 00:33
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 03:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: construction carbon emission; sustainable construction processes; emission reduction; embodied energy; construction materials; Australian construction systems; BIM
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091299 Materials Engineering not elsewhere classified
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
05 Environmental Sciences > 0599 Other Environmental Sciences > 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
12 Built Environment and Design > 1202 Building > 120202 Building Science and Techniques
09 Engineering > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090701 Environmental Engineering Design
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
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960609 Sustainability Indicators
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960603 Environmental Lifecycle Assessment
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.scs.2016.03.006
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/29013

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