Comparative life cycle assessment of organic building materials

University essay from Högskolan Dalarna/Institutionen för information och teknik

Abstract: The ever-increasing awareness of global warming has made the building industry startlooking for alternative building solutions in order to meet the changing demands. Thesechallenges have given rise to organization which aim to go further and construct moresustainable alternatives in the form of Ecovillages. This thesis is conducted in collaborationwith Bysjöstrans Ekoby and aims to investigate what type of organic alternatives exist andhow they perform in building elements.The study was carried out through a comparative LCA where a base case construction forboth roof and wall was established. Followed by comparing different organic materials toeach other and the base case materials in order to determine low-impact materials. The goalwas to replaces as many layers within the structure such as insulation, structure, roofcladding, façade, wind and vapor barrier.This was later followed by combing the materials together in order to identify whichalternative construction options would perform the best in regard to greenhouse gasemissions (CO2 eq kg) and primary energy use (MJ).The results of the study show that the performance or organic materials vary significantly.Whit a lot of materials being better but also worse than traditional materials. It showed thatfor internal wall and roof surface adding clay plater can reduce the GHG emission with 68%, timber frame with 98 %, façade with 43 %, roof cladding with 93 %, vapor barrier with76 % and insulation with 79 %. The best preforming construction option could reduce thebase case emission with 68 %.

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