Life Cycle Analysis: Load-Bearing Structures of High-Rise Buildings in Western Europe

Gerran Lankhorst, Janko Arts, Karel Terwel, H.M. Jonkers

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The choice of structural system has a big influence on the environmental impact of structural materials in tall building design. This paper provides a comparison of the environmental impact of several structural systems for high-rise buildings. The environmental performance for relatively slender buildings in the range of 150 to 250 meters in Western Europe is analyzed for five different types of structural systems in cast-in-situ concrete, precast concrete, and steel. The cradle-to-gate environmental impact was determined by using environmental cost, an assessment method including 10 impact categories. Compared to tube structures, diagrid structures reduced the impact by 17-33% for the concrete models and 28-41% for the steel models, due to reduction of material use. By using non-conventional structural systems such as diagrids, reductions in environmental impact can be achieved relatively easily.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalCTBUH Journal: International Journal on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Issue numberIII
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Systainablity
  • Materials
  • Life Cycle
  • Carbon


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