Assessing the environmental impact of building materials using the Dutch approach: The case of the Triodos bank office building using BREEAM.NL

University essay from Lunds universitet/Energi och ByggnadsDesign

Abstract: With the increasing importance accorded to environmental performance of buildings, the goal of this master thesis is to study the Dutch assessment method for evaluating the environmental impact caused by the material of an office building project with the Dutch version of the BREEAM certification scheme.

After doing a literature review to comprehend the current state of affair concerning the assessment method for environmental impact of building material in the Netherlands, the MaterialenTool using the National MilieuDatabase was used to assess different scenarios aiming to reduce the total shadow cost of the building. Along the study, different actors and users of the Dutch method were interviewed on their expertise and opinions.

In this specific case, the shadow cost of the building was reduced by 25% in total. Reducing the basement was better than removing it completely, a massive wood construction was preferred over a laminated wood structure to replace the concrete elements of the building, the potential of introducing a new type of climate ceiling in the database was demonstrated and the importance of having reviewed data was shown by changing the type of expanded polystyrene.
The Dutch environmental impact assessment method revealed itself to be a valuable tool for the design team although important limitations were revealed, the main one being the incompleteness of the product database.

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