A low energy building in a life cycle—its embodied energy, energy need for operation and recycling potential

Catarina Thormark
Building and Environment, Volume 37, Issue 4, April 2002

Abstract

Total energy use during the life cycle of a building is a growing research field. The embodied energy makes up a considerable part of the total energy use in low energy buildings. Recycling provides the opportunity to reduce the embodied energy by using recycled materials and reusable/recyclable materials/components. This paper presents values on embodied energy, energy needed for operation and the recycling potential of the most energy efficient apartment housing in Sweden (View the MathML source). In a life span of 50 years, embodied energy accounted for 45% of the total energy need. The recycling potential was between 35% and 40% of the embodied energy.

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