Title: Building life cycle assessment: a scenario analysis of a basic dwelling unit to evaluate environmental sustainability

Authors: K.S.L. Wickramaratne; A.K. Kulatunga

Addresses: Sustainable Built Environment Program/Postgraduate Unit, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka ' Department of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Abstract: The built environment consumes significant amounts of natural resources and energy while being responsible for emitting large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As a result, serious environmental issues have occurred including global warming which leads to climate change. This has led to include built environment under sustainable goal 11: sustainable cities and communities. Using construction materials for large-scale projects without understanding the impacts associated with, may cause severe threats. Hence this study focuses on evaluating impacts caused by local construction materials which then lead to identifying sustainable materials. Life cycle assessment was carried out by choosing a typical residential building and a scenario analysis was conducted. The results show while cement-based products were highly responsible for negative impacts the traditional clay-based materials caused fewer impacts. Hence recommendations are provided to mitigate the use of cement-based products and to increase the use of traditional materials to enhance sustainability.

Keywords: building life cycle assessment; BLCA; sustainable built environment; sustainable development goals; environmental impacts; mid-point; end-point.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMSS.2021.117775

International Journal of Sustainable Materials and Structural Systems, 2021 Vol.5 No.3, pp.262 - 284

Received: 03 Oct 2020
Accepted: 20 Feb 2021

Published online: 23 Sep 2021 *

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