Sustainable & Resilient Building Design
On this Project:
This study explored the use of LCA results of parametrized reference buildings for benchmarking purposes and compared them to real building projects. The building performance is calculated using an automated process of energy modeling, life cycle assessment and costing, and seismic loss assessment. The physical model was based on the Department of Energy (DOE) Medium Office Reference Building and is adjusted using a Python algorithm based on inputs of building shape, length, width, floor-to-floor height, number of stories, and window-to-wall ratio (WWR).
The framework was used to obtain the total life cycle results for a 60-year study period for 4,608 unique design and service scenarios across seven environmental and economic metrics and two locations. Each building was represented by a single circle. As an example, the black circles in the plot below represent a single building design and service combination scenario out of the 4,608 possibilities. Many of the results were so close to each other that the circles formed a visually continuous line, but in fact they were many clustered circles. This clustering indicated that there were many buildings whose design or service decision differences yielded very small differences in the overall results in that metric. Conversely, large gaps between these clusters indicated a major influencing factor splitting the results clusters apart.
The application of the framework on the medium office building used a combination of modeled and average reported data, making it sort of a hybrid approach. Future studies could make more homogenous approach in either full bottom-up modeling of all aspects or top-down assessment based entirely on reported data. The specific scenario analyzed in this case showed a potential for revealing the worst case and best case scenarios in various performance metrics and revealed the influence of individual life cycle stages. Future studies could expand the number of considered materials, constructions, service options and other aspects affecting building performance. Once it is possible to generate more sophisticated building models and design and service options, the presented approach could be used to generate baseline buildings for real building projects.
Hasik, V., Ororbia, M.E., Warn, G.P., Bilec, M.M.* (2019). “Whole Building Life Cycle Environmental Impacts and Costs: A Sensitivity Study of Design and Service Decisions.” Building and Environment, August 2019, 106316 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.106316
Hasik, V., Escott, E., Bates, R., Carlisle, S., Faircloth, B., Bilec, M.M.* (2019). “Comparative Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment of Renovation and New Construction.” Building and Environment, 161, 15 August 2019, 106218. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.106218
Hasik, V.A., Chhabra, J., Warn, G.P. Bilec, M.M.* (2018). “Review of approaches for integrating loss estimation and environmental life cycle assessment for earthquake damage to buildings.” Engineering Structures, 175(November 2018), 123-137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2018.08.011
Chhabra, J., Hasik, V., Bilec, M.M., Warn, G.P (2017). “A probabilistic approach for assessing the environmental performance of building designs accounting for natural hazards.” ASCE Journal of Architectural Engineering, 24(1):04017035. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)AE.1943-5568.0000284
Hasik, V., Anderson, N.E.+, Collinge, W.O., Thiel, C.L., Khanna,V., Wirick, J., Piacentini, R., Landis, A.E., Bilec, M.M.* (2017). “Evaluating the life cycle environmental benefits and tradeoffs of water reuse systems for net-zero buildings.” Environmental Science & Technology, 51(3), 1110-1119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b03879
Al-Ghamdi, S., Bilec, M.M.* (2016). “On-Site Renewable Energy and Green Building Rating Systems: A System-Level Analysis.” Environmental Science & Technology, 50, 4606-4614. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b05382
Al-Ghamdi, S., Bilec, M.M.* (2017). “Green Building Rating Systems and Whole-Building LCA: A Comparative Study of the Existing Assessment Tools.” ASCE Journal of Architectural Engineering, 23(1):04016015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)AE.1943-5568.0000222