Environmental assessment of buildings and building use: a preliminary study

IS Blom

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


    Buildings are responsible for a relatively large contribution to environmental problems. Possibly, improving the use and management of buildings may lead to a reduction of the annual environmental burden caused in a region. One aspect of the use and management of buildings consists of the technical management of exterior building components. In this paper, a quantitative environmental assessment method for this aspect of the use of buildings is developed. In environmental assessments, several approaches and indicators of environmental sustainability can be used. The three basic approaches to quantitative environmental sustainability are the material, energy and substance approaches. This research adopts the substance approach as adopted by the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology .Each of the three approaches leads to the use of a specific kind of indicator for environmental sustainability. In LCA, usually either a set of midpoint or a set of endpoint indicators are used. In this research, the midpoint indicator set as described by CML is adopted. The developed environmental assessment method is meant to compare alternatives for the technical management of a specific building, in order to provide insight to the environmental consequences of decisions regarding technical management. The basis of comparison is an activity scenario of a certain duration, in which the local climate and human factors such as occupant behaviour and the quality of work performed are left out of consideration. Variables in the scenarios are the activities included, time intervals between consecutive activities, transport and waste produced. It is not sufficient to merely assess technical management activities, but also the effect they have on the service life of building components and, ultimately, the service life of the building itself. The aim of the assessment is not to accurately determine the environmental effects caused by a building, but to assess the environmental consequences of decisions that alter the building life cycle.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Title of host publicationENHR Sustainable Urban Areas
    EditorsP Boelhouwer, D Groetelaers, E Vogels
    Place of PublicationDelft
    PublisherENHR / Onderzoeksinstituut OTB
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventENHR Intenational Conference 2007 - Delft
    Duration: 25 Jun 200728 Jun 2007

    Publication series

    PublisherENHR / Onderzoeksinstituut OTB


    ConferenceENHR Intenational Conference 2007


    • Conf.proc. > 3 pag

    Cite this