A cradle to handover life cycle assessment of external walls: Choice of materials and prognosis of elements

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This research focuses on a comparison of 20 external wall systems that are conventionally used in Spanish residential buildings, from a perspective based on the product and construction process stages of the life cycle assessment. The primary objective is to provide data that allow knowing the environmental behavior of walls built with materials and practices conventionally. This type of analysis will enable promoting the creation of regulations that encourage the use of combinations of materials that generate the most environmentally suitable result, and in turn, contribute to the strengthening of the embodied stages study of buildings and their elements. The results indicate that the greatest impact arises in the product stage (90.9%), followed by the transport stage (8.9%) and the construction process stage ( < 1%). Strategies (such as the use of large-format pieces and the controlled increase in thickness of the thermal insulation) can contribute to reducing the environmental impact; on the contrary, practices such as the use of small-format pieces and laminated plasterboard can increase the environmental burden. The prediction of the environmental behavior (simulation equation) allows these possible impacts to be studied in a fast and simplified way.




Gámez-García, D. C., Gómez-Soberón, J. M., Corral-Higuera, R., Saldaña-Márquez, H., Gómez-Soberón, M. C., & Arredondo-Rea, S. P. (2018). A cradle to handover life cycle assessment of external walls: Choice of materials and prognosis of elements. Sustainability (Switzerland), 10(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082748

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