Materials and buildings

Brenda Vale,    Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand


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 ...

Get Materials for a Healthy, Ecological and Sustainable Built Environment now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.