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Calculated Embodied Energy Intensity of Construction Materials in Typical Hellenic Dwellings

Dimitrios G. Koubogiannis1, Georgios Syngros1 and Constantinos A. Balaras2

1. Department of Energy Technology Engineering, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens GR 12210, Greece

2. Group Energy Conservation, Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, Athens GR 15236, Greece


Abstract: As current research moves towards life cycle zero energy buildings, it is important to minimize the total energy consumption and environmental impact of a building during its life cycle. Total energy consists of the operational energy and the EE (embodied energy). Both quantities are related to the corresponding operational and Embodied CO2 (ECO2) that contribute to the greenhouse phenomenon. In the present work, the basic construction materials of four typical Hellenic dwellings are identified and their embodied energy content is estimated by first performing a material analysis and then calculating their EE by means of the corresponding material EE coefficients (MJ/kg). Data from an international database are utilized for the latter due to lack of a comprehensive Hellenic database. Based on the results, practical baseline indicators for the contribution of each material in terms of mass and EE are extracted. Concrete is found to be the dominant material in terms of mass, while steel dominates in terms of EE. In one case, the materials of the major electro-mechanical building installations have also been considered; their contribution in terms of EE proves to be very low compared to that of the construction materials. Finally, EE payback time related to the replacement of building openings in order to upgrade its energy performance is demonstrated in one of the cases.

Key words: Embodied energy, building materials, Hellenic dwellings, energy payback time.
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