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The carbon footprint of buildings: A review of methodologies and applications

Andriel Evandro Fenner, Charles Joseph Kibert, Junghoon Woo, Shirley Morque, Mohamad Razkenari, Hamed Hakim and Xiaoshu Lu

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2018, vol. 94, issue C, 1142-1152

Abstract: The carbon emissions associated with the built environment represent the dominant fraction of the total carbon footprint of society. As a result of the intense debate over how to address climate change, Life-Cycle Carbon Emissions Assessment and carbon footprint standards such as the PAS2050, ISO/TS 14067, and the GHG Protocol, are receiving increased attention. However, carbon emission calculations often vary in terms of boundaries, scope, units of greenhouse gas emissions, and methodologies. There is not an internationally accepted method for measuring, reporting, and verifying GHG emissions from existing buildings in a consistent and comparable way. In support of developing a standardized approach, this paper reviews current methodologies for carbon footprint accounting and outlines the inconsistencies of most life-cycle carbon assessments studies. The paper also aims to present the cutting-edge knowledge about emissions resulting from buildings during their life-cycle. The conclusion of this research, after a comprehensive literature review and critical analysis, is that there is a need for a clear, accessible and consistent method to assess the carbon emissions from buildings. The findings in this paper can also support and facilitate the discussion of the meaningful targets required to reduce carbon emissions.

Keywords: Built environment; Carbon footprint; Carbon emission assessment; Life-cycle assessment methodologies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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