Carbon Conscious! The Impact of Embodied Emissions on Design Decisions for Building Envelopes

T.C. Cortes Vargas, Linda Hildebrand, L.M. Rammig, Andrea Zani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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A focus on embodied emissions in building materials has been notorious in the last years, mostly due to high improvements in optimisation of operational energy in buildings. The environmental impact of building materials reflected in embodied energy and potential (re) life options that stimulate circular flows has become the focus of discussion. During the design process, designers and engineers are confronted with different decisions that might impact the embodied emissions (EE) of a façade system. This paper focuses on the EE of different curtain wall configurations whilst applying the Kit-of-Parts approach in a case study in California. The study was carried out under the LCA methodology applied from the A1 to A4 stages and limited to five main parameters: façade typology, span and grid size, different LCA phases, material choice, and supply chain. The results are compared against each other to understand the relevance of each parameter and level of impact of each parameter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th PowerSKIN Conference
EditorsThomas Auer, Ulrich Knaack, Jens Schneider
PublisherTU Delft Open
ISBN (Electronic)978-9463664066
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event9th PowerSKIN Conference: simplicity vs. performance? - Munich, Germany
Duration: 9 Apr 20219 Apr 2021


Conference9th PowerSKIN Conference
Internet address


  • Kit of parts
  • embodied emissions
  • façades
  • life cycle assessment


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