Embodied Energy Considerations For Existing Buildings

Here we outline the importance of life cycle analysis (LCA) in assessing the sustainability of new buildings and of maintaining, refurbishing and replacing existing buildings. Embodied energy and carbon is only one part of a building’s life cycle, but is of increasing significance.

The embodied energy and carbon, associated with building construction, is the energy required and carbon emitted to construct a building (including extraction of raw materials, manufacture of building products and construction of the building.) The other stages of a building’s full life cycle are operational energy and carbon (relating to the use of a building) and end‐of‐life energy and carbon (relating to its demolition and disposal).

This report, intending to support a discussion about energy and carbon assessment of existing buildings, provides an introduction to life cycle thinking generally, before presenting considerations specifically for existing buildings.