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Embodied GHG emissions of building materials in Shanghai

Huang, B; Chen, Y; McDowall, W; Türkeli, S; Bleischwitz, R; Geng, Y; (2019) Embodied GHG emissions of building materials in Shanghai. Journal of Cleaner Production , 210 pp. 777-785. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.11.030. Green open access

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Abstract

The tremendous use of building materials poses heavy threats to resources and the environment. In order to better understand the GHG emissions embodied in the abundant building material consumption of Shanghai's buildings and search for approaches to reduce GHG emissions, this study explores the building consumption and the embodied GHG emission in Shanghai's buildings through life cycle assessment. Novel and localized life cycle inventories are applied. Based on our findings, the average annual growth rate of new constructed area in Shanghai was around 10% since 2000 to 2016. Concrete, brick, sand, gravel and cement (non-concrete use) appear as the main materials used. High GHG emission burden materials per kg are revealed to be steel, lime, wood, glass and cement (non-concrete use). Accounting the annual material consumption in 2016, steel, cement (non-concrete use), concrete and brick are found have the highest contribution to embodied GHG emission in Shanghai. The decoupling analysis reveals Shanghai experienced a general trend from non-decoupling to relative decoupling between building material use and GDP in recent 17 years. Findings in this study indicate for the high GHG emission burden materials such as steel and lime, reducing the energy use and using less CO2-intensive energy sources during manufacturing are likely to be the most effective approaches. In terms of the highly consumed building materials such as concrete and brick, the focus should be on reducing consumption or looking for substitute materials with lower GHG burden per unit.

Type: Article
Title: Embodied GHG emissions of building materials in Shanghai
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.11.030
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.11.030
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Building materials, GHG, Life cycle assessment, Shanghai, Decoupling analysis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10063400
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