This chapter looks at the energy-related environmental effects of materials in use through a lifecycle analysis of different ways of constructing a hypothetical small building. By calculating everything on the same basis and comparing the results, the size of the building emerges as more critical than the materials of which it is made. Also made clear is that real decisions about choice of materials using a lifecycle approach cannot be made until the form and size of the building are fixed. The chapter ends with simple principles for choosing materials for sustainable buildings.
Lifecycle energy assessment; embodied energy; operating ...