Carbon footprint of construction products : a comparison of application of individual Environmental Product Declarations and Building Information Modeling software
Nyári, Judit (2011)
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the benefits of using software for calculating cradle-to-gate carbon footprint of selected construction products. The assessment of environmental impacts, such as carbon footprint calculation of building materials and assemblies is important, because buildings consume 40% of raw materials globally, and their service lifetime is several decades. A cradle-to-gate carbon footprint calculation was carried out for the same building’s selected construction parts by using individually sourced Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and by using a Building Information Modeling software. The total greenhouse gas emissions for the seven selected parts resulting from the software’s calculation were 41% less compared to the result given by the individual EPDs. However, the software was proved to be fast working, user-friendly and easy to use. The thesis concludes that using product specific EPDs are important when calculating carbon footprint, as different products within the same construction product category have significantly varying greenhouse gas emission rate due to differing country of origin and manufacturing technologies. Further extending the available EPDs in the software database would give a reliable, state-of-the-art application to measure real-life data of carbon footprint of building materials and assemblies.