Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Related to the use, Maintenance, and Disposal of a Residential Structure
Keywords:Housing life, energy use, maintenance, disposal, LCI, life cycle
Virtual residential houses in Atlanta, Georgia, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, were analyzed to determine energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission during the building use, maintenance, and demolition phases of their life cycle. An analysis of Census data on housing stocks provided estimates for the useful life of a house. Home Energy Saver, an internet tool for energy analysis sponsored by the Department of Energy and available from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, was the primary tool used in assessing energy consumption for heating and cooling during the use phase of the buildings. A survey on the life span of house components by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) was used to estimate a maintenance/replacement schedule. Emissions during demolition and transport to the landfill were estimated based on the initial bill of materials in the house and distance to the landfill.
The energy consumption over a 75-year life was estimated to be 4,575 GJ for the Atlanta wood frame, 4,725 GJ for the Atlanta concrete block structure, and 7,800 GJ for the Minneapolis wood frame. A steel-framed Home Energy Saver model was not available, but since the steel-framed house was designed to code for equal thermal properties with the wood frame house, we assume no difference. Energy consumption related to structural/exterior maintenance was estimated at 110.5 GJ for the Atlanta location and 73.3 GJ for Minneapolis, only 1-2% as large as used for heating and cooling. The energy needed for demolition and waste removal was even smaller.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the consumed energy were estimated using the regional energy grids in SimaPro at 227,000 kg (501,000 lbs) for the Atlanta wood frame, 235,000 kg (519,000 lbs) for the concrete frame, and 338,000 kg (856,000 lbs) for the Minneapolis wood frame. CO2 emissions related to structural (primarily exterior) maintenance were 4143 kg and 3468 kg, respectively, for Atlanta and Minneapolis. The emissions from deconstruction and waste removal were roughly 1/10th that of maintenance.
Reducing energy consumption during building use provides a major opportunity to reduce environmental burdens. When time-valued discounting over the building life is considered, reducing the burdens associated with product use and construction is equally important.
Adalberth, K. 1997a. Energy use during the life cycle of buildings: A method. Bldg. Environ. 32(4):317-320.nAdalberth, K. 1997b. Energy use during the life cycle of singleunit dwellings: examples. Bldg. Environ. 32(4):321-329.nAmerican Housing Survey for the United States in 1980, 1991, 2001. U.S. Census Bureau.nAnnual Housing Survey Components of Inventory Change: 1980-1991 AND 1973-1983. U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Issued February 1996.nBiblis, E. J., 2005. Experimental determination of the energy requirements for cooling and heating different single-story residential structures. Forest Prod. J., 55(3): 81-85.nCensus of Housing: 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980. U.S. Census Bureau.nCORRIM 2001. Research guidelines for life cycle inventories (released April 11, 2001 and revised Nov, 2003. CORRIM, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.nDepartment of Energy website. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/st_profiles/'>www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/st_profiles/.nDepartment of Housing And Urban Development. 1999. 1998 characteristics of new housing-current construction reports, Publication No. C25/98-A. Washington, DC.nENERGY STAR EPA website. http://www.energystar.gov'>www.energystar.govnFranklin Associates. 1998. Characterization of building related construction and demolition debris in the United States. Prairie Village, KS. 94 pp.nInternational Organization for Standardization (ISO). 1997. Environmental management—life cycle assessment—principles and framework. ISO 14040. First Edition 1997-06-15. Geneva, Switzerland. 16 pp.nInternational Organization for Standardization (ISO). 1998. Environmental management—life cycle assessment—goal and scope definition and inventory analysis. ISO 14041. First Edition 1998-10-01. Geneva, Switzerland. 26 pp.nInternational Organization for Standardization (ISO). 2000a. Environmental management—life cycle assessment—life cycle impact assessment. ISO 14042. First Edition 2000-03-01. Geneva, Switzerland. 21 pp.nInternational Organization for Standardization (ISO). 2000b. Environmental management—life cycle assessment—life cycle interpretation. ISO 14043. First Edition 2000-03-01. Geneva, Switzerland. 23 pp.nLieter, S. 1997. C&D project activity throughout the U.S. and Canada. C&D Debris Recycling. July.nMills, E. D. 1980. Building maintenance and preservation. Butterworths, Boston, MA. 203 pp.nNational Association of Home Builders. 1996. Waste management update 4: deconstruction. Oct.nNational Trust For Historic Preservation. 1981. New energy from old building. Preservation Press, Washington, DC.nUnited States Housing Market. May 1935. Federal Housing Administration.nU.S. Housing Market Conditions, Second Quarter 2001: Historical Data.nU.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research. http://www.huduser.org/periodicals/ushmc/summer2001/histdat25.htm'>www.huduser.org/periodicals/ushmc/summer2001/histdat25.htmnU.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. 1997. Highlights from the expenditures for residential improvements and repairs. Press Release August 4.n
The copyright of an article published in Wood and Fiber Science is transferred to the Society of Wood Science and Technology (for U. S. Government employees: to the extent transferable), effective if and when the article is accepted for publication. This transfer grants the Society of Wood Science and Technology permission to republish all or any part of the article in any form, e.g., reprints for sale, microfiche, proceedings, etc. However, the authors reserve the following as set forth in the Copyright Law:
1. All proprietary rights other than copyright, such as patent rights.
2. The right to grant or refuse permission to third parties to republish all or part of the article or translations thereof. In the case of whole articles, such third parties must obtain Society of Wood Science and Technology written permission as well. However, the Society may grant rights with respect to Journal issues as a whole.
3. The right to use all or part of this article in future works of their own, such as lectures, press releases, reviews, text books, or reprint books.