Date of Award
Level of Access Assigned by Author
Master of Science (MS)
Stephen M Shaler
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Additional Committee Members
Due to human activity, the levels of carbon emissions found in the atmosphere have reached its highest concentration and therefore it is necessary to find solutions to reduce, mitigate and adapt to a more sustainable pattern of development. The substitution of fossil fuel-dependent materials with renewable materials which exhibit lower embodied carbon is an option to be considered in the design phase of a building. Engineered wood product innovations over the past twenty years, coupled with design innovation and building code modifications have demonstrated their viability in multi-story construction (18 stories). The goals of this project are to 1) estimate the environmental impacts generated throughout the whole life cycle of a building, comparing a mass timber building (i.e., a construction system that uses wood products as the primary structural elements) with a conventional steel and concrete design for the first case study, and 2) to estimate the environmental impact of a prefabricated, cross laminated timber, with wood fiber insulation panels as insulation, combined with operational energy monitoring and modelling. The environmental impact of interest is global warming potential (GWP) associated with embodied carbon and operational energy estimated using Life Cycle Assessment technique, energy modeling and monitoring. The building design for Mass Timber was estimated to have 52% less mass, 53%
less embodied GWP from production to end-of-life stages (A-C) and approximately four times less embodied GWP from production to beyond the building life, with benefit of biogenic carbon applied (A-D). Case study 2 has proven to be an airtight building with the actual energy consumption appropriate to the comparative energy modelling, therefore energy efficient while utilizing less intense carbon materials.
Hellmeister, Marilia, "Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Embodied Carbon and Operational Energy of Different Building Systems" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3649.