UBC Undergraduate Research

A life cycle assessment of UBC ICICS building Charif, Malek Nov 18, 2013

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
18861-Charif_M_SEEDS_2013.pdf [ 1.23MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 18861-1.0108746.json
JSON-LD: 18861-1.0108746-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 18861-1.0108746-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 18861-1.0108746-rdf.json
Turtle: 18861-1.0108746-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 18861-1.0108746-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 18861-1.0108746-source.json
Full Text
18861-1.0108746-fulltext.txt
Citation
18861-1.0108746.ris

Full Text

 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student ReportMalek CharifA Life Cycle Assessment of UBC ICICS BuildingCIVL 498CNovember 18, 201310651543University of British Columbia Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.  1 | P a g e   PROVISIO This study has been completed by undergraduate students as part of their coursework at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and is also a contribution to a larger effort – the UBC LCA Project – which aims to support the development of the field of life cycle assessment (LCA). The information and findings contained in this report have not been through a full critical review and should be considered preliminary. If further information is required, please contact the course instructor Rob Sianchuk at rob.sianchuk@gmail.com     A Life Cycle Assessment  of  UBC ICICS Building A Report Submitted in Partial fulfillment of the Requirements for CIVL498C  By   Malek Charif  18 November 2013    2  | P a g e   Executive Summary  In demonstration of skills learned during the course of the term, students of CIVL 498C were asked to evaluate the environmental and health impacts resulting from the product and construction phases, i.e. to conduct a limited Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), of assigned building.  In this case, the object of the assessment is the ICICS building at UBC. The predominant use of the building, which measures about 9711 square meters in floor area, is research in the domains of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and computer animation and other related research fields.  Athena’s Impact Estimator (IE) and On-Screen Takeoff programs are the main tools used to complete the LCA study. Inputs in the IE model were re-organized according to a modified CISQ format. Also, models corresponding to level 3, in CISQ format, were created in the IE. Models were then evaluated for their individual and combined effects.  Results were then compared to a UBC wide benchmark which represented the average of all studies by the class. ICICS Global Warming impact for the two stages included in the study is about 50 percent more than the average UBC building. Level-3 Element A22 (Upper_Floor_Construction) contributes half the total impact of the building. Its impact is due mainly to the reinforced concrete floor slabs that cover a substantial surface area. It is not clear what would the relative (normalized) environmental performance of ICICS if the LCA were extended to the Use stage. The heavy construction environmental toll could potentially contribute to the longevity of the building. Longer service life will not reduce Use impact but it could defer new construction projects for decades. The would-be-impact of deferred projects could be credited to the present building.  However, under the present constraints of the study, ICICS building imposes much higher environmental impacts than the average UBC academic building.   3  | P a g e   Table of Contents Executive Summary  ....................................................................................................................................... 2  List of Figures  ................................................................................................................................................ 4  List of Tables  ................................................................................................................................................. 5  1.0 General Information on the Assessment .................................................................................. 6  1.1  Purpose of the Assessment  ................................................................................................................ 6  1. 2  Identification of the building .............................................................................................................. 6  1.3  Other Assessment Information  .......................................................................................................... 7  2.0 General Information on the Object of Assessment  ................................................................................ 8  2.1 Functional Equivalent .......................................................................................................................... 8  2.2 Reference Study Period ....................................................................................................................... 9  2.3 Object of Assessment Scope  ............................................................................................................... 9  3.0 Statement of Boundaries and Scenarios Used in Assessment ............................................ 10  3.1 System Boundary  .............................................................................................................................. 10  3.2 Product Stage  .................................................................................................................................... 10  3.3 Construction Stage  ............................................................................................................................ 11  4.0 Environmental Data  .............................................................................................................................. 11  4.1 Data Sources  ..................................................................................................................................... 11  4.2 Data Adjustments and Substitutions  ................................................................................................ 12  4.3 Data Quality  ...................................................................................................................................... 13  5.0  List of Indicators Used for Assessment and Expression of the Results  ................................................ 13  6.0 Model Development  ............................................................................................................................. 14  7.0 Commun ications of Assessment of Results  .......................................................................................... 18      4  | P a g e   List of Figures      Figure  1 -  Summary results for the ICICS building  _____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  20       Figure 2 -  Normalized impacts of the ICICS building _____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  22  Figure 3 -  Global warming scatter graph UBC buildings _____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   23  Figure 4 -  Cost scatter graph _____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   23   5  | P a g e   List of Tables Table 1:  Other Assessment Information  _____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   7       Table 2: Func tional Equilvalent Definition  _____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   8  Table 3: Building Definition  _____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  9  Table 4:  Impact Categories and Indicators _____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  14    6  | P a g e   1.0 General Information on the Assessment 1.1 Purpose of the Assessment An LCA is a study of the environmental impacts of an object throughout all its life stages (cradle to grave).  Buildings, which could last for relatively long periods of time, could be more or less sustainable based on choices made during the design, construction and use stages. Hence, an LCA could be a tool that aid in evaluating an existing building, to make decisions regarding the specifics of a given design or to make a choice among design options.  This study is a comparative one in that it compares, for the product and construction stages, the environmental performance of the ICICS building against a UBC benchmark. The benchmark is an average of similarly conducted LCA studies carried out by other students on other academic buildings at UBC. In addition to their academic (teaching) value, the utility of these studies is to enlighten future decision making at the level of university planning. Administrators and others concerned could now evaluate the environmental and economic costs of proposed studied building as a guide. The study could potentially be of value to a wider audience in the construction industry, provide that they have an access to the specifics of the buildings studied so correlations of costs and size and features used could be properly understood.  For completeness, it must be mentioned here that there are elements of the building that have  been excluded from the study,  such as flooring, the HVAC system and other finishing details,  due mainly to limitations in IE capabilities or the lack of precise information regarding these products. Also based on a previous study1, it turns out that the most significant environmental impacts are due to Concrete and rebar use in the building. 1.2 Identification of the building  Looking at it from any direction, ICICS (Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems) is not a minimalist building by any measure. Extensive use of concrete                                                           1 Cancade, <ipling, “>ife ssessment of the /C/CS Building”, a report submitted in partial fulfillment of course worŬ for CIVL 49 8C at UBC, 3/29/20 10.  7  | P a g e   is plainly obvious. That means by extension the use of large quantities of rebar and other raw materials. Located toward the southern end of the Main Mall on UBC campus, at 2366 Main Mall, ICICS comprises many research labs, seminar rooms, offices and comparatively few classrooms. The main impetus of the research conducted at ICICS is amply described by the building’s name: Computing related research. Such activities include autonomous robotics, artificial intelligence (known by its acronym AI), computer animation and motion capture as well as related branches of research. The building took three years to construct. Its floor surface area measures 9711 square meters (m2), its cost totaled $17.5 million in 1993 dollars, the year construction on the building concluded. That is equivalent to $67.72 millions in today’s dollars, assuming a modest 7.0 percent (7.0%) escalation rate.   It must be mentioned here that an annex to ICICS building that was added in 2005 is not included in the current LCA study or its cost. 1.3 Other Assessment Information  Table 1: Other assessment information Client for assessment  Completed as coursework in Civil Engineering technical elective course at the university of British Columbia  Name and qualification of the assessor  Malek Charif  (CEEN Program, UBC) and Kipling Cancade (UBC alumnus) Impact assessment method  TRACI, an US EPA  mid-point impact assessment tool which is incorporated in the Impact Estimator (version 4.2), was used to assess the building environmental impact Point of assessment Twenty 20 years has elapsed since the 8  | P a g e    building’s construction was completed in 1993. It had lasted 3 years. Period of validity  Five (5) years Date of assessment  Completed in December of 2013 Verifier   Student work, study not verified  2.0 General Information on the Object of Assessment 2.1 Functional Equivalent Functional unit is defined as “a performance characteristic of the product system being studied that will be used as a reference unit to normalize the results of the study2.” In other words, a functional unit makes it possible to quantify the environmental and health impacts of all product systems (products or processes) that fulfill similar functions on a per unit basis. Comparisons of functionally similar products become possible.  The choice of functional unit must be consistent with the objective of the study. For evaluating or comparing the environmental impacts of buildings designed for research and academic purposes, a unit of surface area, e.g. m2, is an appropriate and logical choice for a functional unit. It is implied here that all floors are of appropriate heights for the activities to be conducted within the building. Table 2: Functional equivalent definition Aspect of Object of Assessment Description Building Type An institutional/academic  building subject to UBC Technical Guidelines http://technicalguidelines.ubc.ca/technical/divisional_specs.html Technical and functional requirement The building houses research facilities and labs, office spaces, seminar rooms and classrooms. It  Pattern of use Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Less people per m2 than                                                           2 ISO standards 1404 4  9  | P a g e   other academic buildings which comprise more classrooms.   Required service life All new UBC buildings are supposed to last a minimum of 100 years  2.2 Reference Study Period As mentioned in the table above, the service (design) life of ICICS building is hundred years. That normally entails setting the service life in the Impact Assessment software to a hundred years. However, since the scope of the study was limited to evaluating and comparing the environmental impacts of the various buildings for the product and construction phases only, the reference study period in the Impact Estimator (IE) model was set to 1 year. That is the minimum period that could be specified in the model to account for all activities from materials extraction on to transportation and to construction without imputing to these stages other effects due to use of the building.  In other terms, referencing EN1597873, only module A (Product and Construction stages) is covered in this study to the exclusion of module B (Use stage), C (End of Life stage) and D (Benefits and loads beyond the System boundaries). 2.3 Object of Assessment Scope The ICICS building comprises 4 floors and two penthouses.Describe building from foundation to external work. Why addressing only the structure and envelope and using modified version of CISQ level 3. Table 3: Building Definition CIVL 498C Level 3 Elements Description Quantity (Amount) Units A11 Foundations Wall and column and spread footings, pile caps, piles, caissons and other elements below slab on grade.    m2 A21 Lowest Floor Construction Slabs on grade, Slab thickening below interior bearing walls, Insulation, Shoring.   m2 A22 Upper Floor Construction Structural frame, Suspended floors, Stepped floors, Suspended ramps, Columns and beams, Stair construction etc. Excludes floor finishes and suspended ceiling finishes  m2 A23 Roof Construction Roof slabs and Roof supporting members,  m2                                                           3 EN15978 Standards, http://www.coldstreamconsulting.com/services/life - cycle- analysis/whole- building- lca/en-15978 - standard. 1 0  | P a g e   Rafters and Trusses. Columns supporting roof slabs. Eaves soffit, Fascia, Skylight, Roof Finish, Flashing and Coping, Trafficable roof surface.  A31 Walls Below Grade Exterior walls below ground floor, Water Proofing and Insulation. Windows and Doors, Interior furring and Wallboard and other Material within the walls assembly  m2 A32 Walls Above Grade Exterior walls with facing materials, Exterior finishes, Miscellaneous metals and other elements within the wall assembly, Structural components of walls above grade, Curtain walls  m2 B11 Partitions Interior fixed partitions, Miscellaneous metals and other necessities within the wall assembly, Movable partitions, Doors and finishes, Interior glazing and frame, Furrings and Boxing  m2  3.0  Statement of Boundaries and Scenarios Used in Assessment 3.1 System Boundary The system boundary delimits between what is included in the LCA study and what is not. It is tightly connected with the objective of the study. All that could affect the results of the study should be contained within the system boundary or its contribution (flow) should be included. The study being limited here to the product and construction stages, the boundary of the system is drawn to include all the processes involved in these stages and all the flows between them. Also included are the (raw materials and energy) flows that feed into the Product stage and the flows (products and waste) that feed into the Use stage. Following is a description of the two stages included in the study.   3.2 Product Stage   Athena LCI database correlates basic construction materials, such as rebar or aggregates, with environmental impacts generated by extraction, transport and manufacturing of raw materials into final product. Such impacts include energy use, emissions and solid wastes water and land use associated with transport, storage and processing of the raw materials. In Canada, where IE software was originated, the data base is fine-tuned to take account of regional differences4. Such differences become significant when considering the energy and transportation burdens assigned to the product system.                                                           4 “tehna /mpact Estimator for Buildings sϰ.Ϯ Software and Database Kverview”.  course handout. pril ϮϬϭϯ.  1 1  | P a g e   Electricity generation and its impact vary widely from region to another. Distances too could range from a few kilometers to many thousands. Construction materials that are made offshore are treated in Athena IE as if they were produced in North America, an exception that is made explicit and which could be remedied in future versions of the software.   When regional specifics are not known or when processes are not uniform across the region, average burdens (energy use and other impacts) are assigned to products. Athens IE documents its sources of information and the year the data was generated to support calculations of average values used 3.3 Construction Stage  Construction stage starts at the gate of the Product stage and ends with the completion of the construction of the building.  Impact estimator considers all activities (processes) and flows in between. More specifically, IE takes account of the energy used to transport materials and components from their production site to construction site going through an intermediate regional distribution center. It takes account of water, energy, emissions, wastes and land uses needed to construct elements, e.g. a cast-in-place wall, or associated with on-site construction activities5.   IE does not account for activities specific to the construction site such as land disturbance or site rehabilitation etc. Also it is not clear how IE deals with stock energy or carbon sequestration in wood products 4.0 Environmental Data  4.1 Data Sources The significance of the Life Cycle Impact Assessment, LCIA, depend in part on accuracy and applicability of information relating to the energy use and emissions associated with the extraction and/or manufacturing and transportation of elementary                                                           5 UnŬown author. “thena /mpact Estimator for Buildings sϰ.Ϯ Software and Database Kverview.” pril ϮϬϭϯ. 1 2  | P a g e   flows (raw materials and elementary products).  The aggregate of all such data is the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) database. Athena Impact estimator relies on Athena LCI and a US LCI databases. Athena IE, and hence, its LCI database, is created by and managed by the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, based in Ottawa, Canada. IE LCI database is created using independent research by Athena’s group and in collaboration with suppliers of construction materials. The collected data take into account the geographic location where the product is manufactured and the processes used. Both of them are factors that determine the source and amount of energy used as well as the type and quantities of pollutants emitted.  The LCI database is TRACI which was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the USA.  TRACI has a modular design that allows its incorporation into LCA tools6 such as the case in Athena’s IE. The database depends on scientifically defendable models that relate emissions to mainly mid-point categories. The models were constructed to minimize sensitivity to local variations. When location specific data were unavoidable, US averages were used. 4.2 Data Adjustments and Substitutions As structural elements and materials were inputted in the original IE model, certain assumptions or compromises were made. These compromises or deviations were marked by this study’s author as potential areas of improvement. An example of that is the concrete ash content which was modeled as “average” when it could have been an exact value. In the end the model was left as is, for many reasons the first of which is that the actual percentage is not known to the author. Secondly, there are a lot more significant omissions (detailed elsewhere in this report) that could affect the results of the LCA study a lot more than the adjustment of the percentage of the ash content in concrete. From a skill learning perspective, the exercise of                                                           6  Bare, :ane C. “Developing a Consistent Decision- DaŬing &rameworŬ by Using the U.S. EWΖs dZC/”. http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/std/traci/aiche2002paper.pdf.  1 3  | P a g e   making the substitution is a worthwhile learning opportunity.  No changes were made, the modeling of the basic elements were left as is.  4.3 Data Quality LCA studies are as good as the data used to complete the analysis and the model.  The data in the IE model created to study the performance of the ICICS building came from a few sources.  First, there is first the model and the elements entered by the modeller. Then there is the LCI (Life Cycle Inventory) data which is a part of the software. Inaccuracies in the model and the data could be due to many factors: temporal, geographical and non-standardization. Many of the data is time and place sensitive, processes change from region to another and time to another. Technology and resource availability dictate processes which in turn affect the environmental impact associated with such process. Environmental impact due to the use of electricity is a lot different in BC than in Alberta or China.  So processes and product the require electricity should be allocated a different environmental impact depending on their origin. The same could be said of time. Yesterday’s technology isn’t the same as today or tomorrow’s. Modeling elements of a building that was built 20 years- and in other cases a lot further back- is not accurate either. Processes change in time for so many reasons: technology, sources, substitutions etc.  Even within the same geographic area and time frame, processes change from a manufacturer to another, from one supplier to another. While the LCI data base used here does account for regional variations, it uses averages for the region. That means variations from the actual data. So what to do? Being aware of these sources of variations and their extent is important. Sensitivity analysis is regarded as an important tool is lending credibility to an LCA study7. It allows for determining the variations in the LCA results based on variations in the data and in the model. 5.0 List of Indicators Used for Assessment and Expression of the Results Athena IE feeds the inventory analysis stage (the calculation of the environmental loads: resource use and pollution emissions)8 into TRACI (Tool for the reduction and Assessment of Chemicals and other environmental Impacts), developed by the US EPA, to generate a complete environmental profile of the studied building, the ICICS in this case.                                                            7 “Uncertainty Danagement in >C.”  C/s>ϰϵϴC course handout, ϮϬϭϯ. 8 Buaman, Henrikke and Tillman Anne - Darie. “dhe ,itch ,iŬer͛s 'uide to >C”. Studentlitteratur, ϮϬϬϰ. 1 4  | P a g e    TRACI includes ten impact categories9 in all, however in Athena IE only seven categories are considered. These categories along with their indicators and possible end-points impacts are summarized in the table below: Table 4: Impact categories and Indicators Impact Category Category Indicator Possible End-Point Impact Fossil Fuel Depletion MJ (mega Joule) Natural resource depletion Global Warming Kg CO2 Equivalent Extreme climate, starvation Acidification Kg SO2 Eq Forestry HH Particulate- 2.5 Kg PM2.5 Eq Impaired health Eutrophication Kg N Eq Fishery Ozone Depletion Kg CFC-11 Eq Skin Cancer Smog Formation Kg O3 Eq Respiratory diseases   For many of the category, e.g. the fossil fuel depletion, the cause-effect relationship to their end-point impact is obvious. For others it is less so like in the case eutraphication and fishery. In this instance, eutraphication leads to diminished oxygen in water which leads to the death of the fish.   Category indicators are used to represent the combined effects of multiple emissions that contribute to the same impact category on a per functional unit basis. 6.0 Model Development CIQS10 (Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors) format was used to assign constituent elements of the building to lower level aggregations. In the hierarchy of CIQS format, “Major Group Elements” is the topmost level followed by “Group Elements”, “Elements” and then “Sub-Elements”.  See below for bills of materials (BOM) for each of the Elements of the ICICS building.  Athena’s Impact Estimator, version 4.2.0208, was used to analyze all of the models of the Elements and of the Building for their impacts. Discussion of the results is contained in Section 7.0.                                                           9 Bare, :ane C. and 'loria, dhomas W. “>ife Cycle /mpact ssessment for the Building Design and Construction /ndustry”. www.bdcnetwork.com . November 2005.  10 SianchuŬ, Zob. “C/SY Elemental &ormat- modified”. C/s>ϰϵϴC course handout, ϮϬϭϯ. 1 5  | P a g e   The Elements are just groupings of more basic structural and envelope elements. Models of these elements were already identified and their quantities specified by an alumnus of the course (Kipling Cancade).  The modeling process consists of three steps. In step one, take-offs from structural and architectural drawings are obtained using OnScreen Takeoff version 3.6.2.25 software, a tool to speed up the takeoff process. In step two, the actual attributes of take-off elements, such as their physical measurements, composition or carrying capacity, are tabulated in an IE_Inputs document which has a well-defined format.  Each take-off element is matched with an Athena LCI basic element (Wall, column, truss etc) and its parameters are specified. When there is not an exact match in IE LCI database, a near-match (in function and physical property) is chosen. Associated parameters are then modified to account for the near-match. For example, if the take-off is a wall of 38 cm thick and 10 sq. meter in area while the options in IE database is limited to walls of unit area and of thicknesses of 20, 30 and 45 cm, the user could chose to model the take-off wall as a 45 cm thick. In this case, the parameters to specify in IE to complete the definition of the wall, namely the width and length of the wall, are modified so that the volumes of the modeled and take-off walls are equal. There could be implied consequences to this “forcing” of match. For example, the rebar quantity may not scale properly to reflect the actual rebar quantity used. For that reason among others, all such modifications and remarks are noted and logged next to actual the take-offs in the IE_Inputs document as well as in the Assumptions document. For the IE_Inputs and Assumptions document see Annex D. Athena IE-program uses the IE_Inputs document to generate a bill of materials (BoM) that constitutes the bulk of materials used in the building. The logging of the inputs is the equivalent of Inventory Analysis in LCA parole.  In step three, the model is run to calculate the impacts of the individual Elements and of the building.  The impact analysis is accomplished using the TRACI version 2.2, an  US EPA tool that is integrated in IE. The output of the analysis, a report called Summary_Measures, is an assessment of the mid-point impacts for the Element or building modeled. The impacts are expressed in units of mid-point category indicators. Categories and corresponding indicators are shown in Table 4 above. 1 6  | P a g e    As part of the current study, a review of the past Assumptions document was conducted to identify improvement opportunities to the model of the building. The review revealed that although there are deficiencies in the model, the reasons stated for them are still valid today and cannot be overcome without a significant effort that is beyond the scope of this study. Nearly all the deficiencies stem from a lack in IE LCI database. Basic system’s elements are either missing or their attributes are too restrictive. Possibility for improvements is tied to future expansions in the database of the Impact Estimator. A building which satisfies the specifications set in the tender document is the equivalent of a “Reference flow” in LCA studies. A reference flow is a quantified amount of product(s), including product parts, necessary for a specific product system to deliver the performance described by the functional unit. Example: 15 daylight bulbs of 10000 lumen with a lifetime of 10000 hours. The reference flow is the starting point for building a model of the product system11.  Product system is the subject of LCA study. As mentioned above, in the present study, the building and its constituent (level 3) Elements were modeled. Bills of Materials of all Elements of the ICICS building are shown below.  BOM: Element_A11 (Foundations) Material Quantity Unit Concrete 30 MPa (flyash av) 1163.6042 m3 Rebar, Rod, Light Sections 1.4788 Tonnes BOM: Element _A21 (Lowest Floor Construction) Material Quantity Unit 6 mil Polyethylene 3967.7629 m2 Concrete 30 MPa (flyash av) 466.5007 m3 Rebar, Rod, Light Sections 1.5383 Tonnes Welded Wire Mesh / Ladder Wire 3.3802 Tonnes  BOM: Element_A22 (Upper Floor Construction) Material Quantity Unit #15 Organic Felt 30617.0715 m2 Ballast (aggregate stone) 367813.1794 kg Concrete 30 MPa (flyash av) 5338.2448 m3 Extruded Polystyrene 17221.1357 m2 (25mm) Galvanized Sheet 2.6667 Tonnes Hollow Structural Steel 5.7262 Tonnes Polyethylene Filter Fabric 0.4557 Tonnes                                                           11 “dhe Wroduct, &unctional Units and Zeference &low in >C”. Danish Ministry of the Environment. Environmental News No. 70, 20 04.  1 7  | P a g e   Rebar, Rod, Light Sections 675.5415 Tonnes Roofing Asphalt 45202.725 kg Screws Nuts & Bolts 1.1992 Tonnes Wide Flange Sections 18.229 Tonnes  BOM: Element_A23 (Roof Construction) Material Quantity Unit 24 Ga. Steel Roof (Commercial) 589.5599 m2 Galvanized Studs 7.3179 Tonnes Modified Bitumen membrane 458.1952 kg Screws Nuts & Bolts 0.1214 Tonnes Solvent Based Alkyd Paint 34.9877 L  BOM: Element_A31 (Walls Below Grade) Material Quantity Unit 5/8"  Regular Gypsum Board 134.277 m2 Concrete 30 MPa (flyash av) 38.4521 m3 Joint Compound 0.134 Tonnes Nails 0.0013 Tonnes Paper Tape 0.0015 Tonnes  Rebar, Rod, Light Sections 0.9069 Tonnes  BOM: Element_A32 (Walls Above Grade) Material Quantity Unit #15 Organic Felt 1593.1714 m2 1/2"  Moisture Resistant Gypsum Board 1423.9855 m2 1/2"  Regular Gypsum Board 1742.9949 m2 5/8"  Regular Gypsum Board 42.0255 m2 6 mil Polyethylene 2027.221 m2 Aluminum 90.0755 Tonnes Cold Rolled Sheet 0.0134 Tonnes Commercial(26 ga.) Steel Cladding 1423.9855 m2 Concrete 30 MPa (flyash av) 268.3834 m3 Concrete Blocks 4033.1863 Blocks Concrete Brick 69.5476 m2 Double Glazed No Coating Air 2829.2827 m2 EPDM membrane (black, 60 mil) 3704.7784 kg Expanded Polystyrene 214.83 m2 (25mm) Extruded Polystyrene 190.6628 m2 (25mm) FG Batt R11-15 6911.6967 m2 (25mm) Galvanized Sheet 5.5564 Tonnes Galvanized Studs 11.7437 Tonnes Glazing Panel 23.8698 Tonnes Joint Compound 3.2026 Tonnes Mortar 14.3435 m3 Nails 3.3445 Tonnes Paper Tape 0.0368 Tonnes Rebar, Rod, Light Sections 7.882 Tonnes 1 8  | P a g e   Screws Nuts & Bolts 0.6643 Tonnes Softwood Plywood 2256.0999 m2 (9mm) Solvent Based Alkyd Paint 19.4555 L Solvent Based Varnish 30.3692 L Stucco over metal mesh 1423.3521 m2 Water Based Latex Paint 306.27 L  BOM: Element_B11 (Partitions) Material Quantity Unit #15 Organic Felt 233.6958 m2 3 mil Polyethylene 676.1707 m2 5/8"  Regular Gypsum Board 21281.3994 m2 6 mil Polyethylene 634.8679 m2 Aluminum 6.2599 Tonnes Concrete 30 MPa (flyash av) 441.5544 m3 Concrete Blocks 15246.2174 Blocks Double Glazed No Coating Air 285.5089 m2 EPDM membrane (black, 60 mil) 412.6872 kg Extruded Polystyrene 1204.8944 m2 (25mm) FG Batt R11-15 26056.1087 m2 (25mm) Galvanized Sheet 24.0745 Tonnes Galvanized Studs 25.7443 Tonnes Joint Compound 21.2392 Tonnes Mortar 291.5722 m3 Nails 2.536 Tonnes Paper Tape 0.2438 Tonnes Rebar, Rod, Light Sections 99.3277 Tonnes Screws Nuts & Bolts 1.2066 Tonnes Small Dimension Softwood Lumber, kiln-dried 47.4336 m3 Solvent Based Alkyd Paint 41.2692 L Solvent Based Varnish 3.2599 L Stucco over metal mesh 208.7857 m2 Water Based Latex Paint 449.7847 L  7.0 Communications of Assessment of Results LCA results for the ICICS building and Elements for all mid-point categories considered in this study are shown below. The reader is reminded that these results reflect the impacts associated with the first two stages of LCA, namely the Product and the Construction stages. Also, it is important to note that in the graph below, the scale of the y-axis is logarithmic. A linear scale would have made impossible to see some of the impacts.  A lot of information is contained in this graph. Bars of the same color, which represent a given impact category, allow comparisons between the impacts of each of the Elements and that of the building.  The first seven multi-colored bars summarize the 1 9  | P a g e   overall impact of the building across all impact categories. Some of the obvious conclusions to make are the following:  Element A22 (Upper Floor Construction), contributes the most in all impact categories. The floor slabs, reinforced concrete slabs measuring 9057 m2, contribute almost 50 percent of the impact of A22 or 25 percent of the total impact of the building.  The ozone layer depletion potential looks miniscule (in absolute value), so it could have been omitted from the graph altogether. The disproportionate effect of Upper-Floor-Construction is consistent with the quantities of concrete and rebar used. It could have been exaggerated by miss-sorting. However that does not alter its impact to the total impact of the building. The impacts of the building are not affected by miss-sorting, but by inaccuracies in the entries or by omissions of critical elements. In this study, electrical elements, HVAC system, floor coverings and detailing were omitted for lack of accurate data or inability to model them in Impact Estimator due to limitation of the software. That does not however diminish of the importance of the results discussed here, as the inclusion of omitted parts could only exaggerate the impacts graphed below.         2 0  | P a g e    Figure 1: Summary results for the ICICS building Following are Annexes that generally are not required as part of such building document (report) but could be useful in shedding further light on the results obtained and in providing more details about the work that goes into creating the IE model.    0.00  0.00  0.00  0.00  0.00  0.01  0.10  1.00  10.00  100.00  1000.00  10000.00  ICICS  A11  A21  A22  A23  A31  A32  B11  Summary Results_ICICS Fossil Fuel Consumpotion (MJ)  Global Warming (kg CO2 Eq)  Acidification (Moles of H+ Eq)  Human Health Criteria -  Respiratory (kg PM10 Eq)  Eutrophication (kg N Eq)  Ozone Layer Depletion (kg CFC - 11 Eq)  Smog (kg O3 Eq)  2 1  | P a g e   Annex A- Interpretation of Assessment Results Benchmark Development Results for an LCA study as expressed above are hard to appreciate. To appreciate the impact of a product system, the ICICS building in this case, its impact must be interpreted in relation to a “standard” that provide an equivalent function. The standard is the yard-stick by which the impacts of a building are measured. A benchmark building is such a standard.  For comparisons, ICICS and the benchmark are compared on per-functional-unit basis, in this case a unit surface area. The benchmark building is not a physical one, but rather an average building of the same characteristics as the ICICS. Equivalence of functions and use of functional values are not sufficient conditions for a good benchmark.   Using academic buildings at UBC to construct an average building assure equivalence of purpose, of environment and of modeling tools and methodology. The benchmark is a building whose impacts are the averages of impacts of all the academic buildings included in CIVL498C course study. UBC Academic Building Benchmark The environmental impacts of ICICS are then measured relative to the benchmark. These are the normalized impacts of the building. The results are displayed in the graph below for three impact categories: Fossil fuel use, global warming and acidification potentials. The other categories were omitted for clarity, but follow the same trends. The global warming impact of ICICS is more than 50% higher than that for the benchmark. Element A22 (Upper Floor Construction) has a normalized impact that is over two and half times higher than for the benchmark, it is in fact what drives the total up. As mentioned above, the floor slabs are the main culprits and contribute about 25% of the building total.     2 2  | P a g e    Figure 2: Normalized impacts of the ICICS building  The scatter graph below further illustrates the GWP impacts of the ICICS and other academic buildings relative to the benchmark. The study included over twenty buildings, however not all data was available at the time this report was prepared. Also, some data points were omitted because they were obviously erroneous.     0.0%  50.0%  100.0%  150.0%  200.0%  250.0%  300.0%  Normalized ICICS  A11  A21  A22  A23  A31  A32  B11  Normalized  Impacts_ICICS Fossil Fuel Consumpotion (MJ)  Global Warming (kg CO2 Eq)  Acidification (Moles of H+ Eq)  2 3  | P a g e    Figure 3: Global warming scatter graph UBC buildings Another Scatter graph to illustrate the relative cost, in year 2013 dollars, of all UBC buildings included in the study as well as their average (the benchmark). Here too, the cost of the ICICS building is 60 % more than the benchmark. That however is debatable considering that the 7% escalation rate used to calculate the present value may not be realistic.  Figure 4: Cost scatter graph  Benchmark  ICICS  ESB Allard Hall  FSC CEME  Music  Lasserre  Kaiser  0  50  100  150  200  250  300  350  400  450  0  2  4  6  8  10  GWP (kg CO2 eq) Axis Title Global Warming Potential (kg CO2 Eq.) Benchmark  ICICS  ESB Allard Hall  FSC CEME  Music  Lasserre  Kaiser  0.00  10.00  20.00  30.00  40.00  50.00  60.00  70.00  80.00  0  2  4  6  8  10  Cost in Millions $ Data point Cost (Millions of Dollars) 2 4  | P a g e   Annex B- Recommendations for LCA Use Life Cycle Analysis has been slowly coming into view. It is a tool born out of need. Its holistic approach to evaluating environmental and health impacts of existent and future product systems is not just desirable but necessary. Its value is making manifest future consequences hence enabling responsible decision making and action. It was mentioned above that no firm conclusions could be based on this study in terms of total impacts on the environment, for inclusion of the Use and End of Life stages could turn the picture upside down. In this sense, this study is just a demonstration of what LCA analysis could do, but not a full-fledged study.  At the design stage, an LCA study of alternatives could be a tie breaker at worst or better yet a tool to optimize the design. Simulating the life cycle of a building under design, if done properly, is as clear a picture as possible of the cumulative environmental effects imposed by the proposed design. Of course, this is contingent on conditions such as accurate modeling of the building and use of exact or regionally-averaged product data. LCA studies are judged by the quality of data used in them, also by the choice of benchmark used for comparison. Sensitivity of results to uncertainties in the data will determine the validity and value of the LCA.  Another issue to consider when using LCA for decision making is the relative importance of environmental impacts. In this report, there is no questions like “what matters more:  global warming or acidification or energy use?” That is, even for the same building, there is no comparison across impact categories. In fact impacts are expressed in different units (CO2 Eq. or MJ etc) altogether. The importance of categories is simply relative. In a class experiment, most of the students agreed that global warming warranted immediate attention despite of it being a global problem! But in general, prioritization of impact categories is a matter of personal (organizational) preference.  A weighting factor assigned by a group to an impact category designates it priority to them. Weighting factors are decided on by vote or some other method. By normalizing the impacts and giving them weighting factors, a single environmental score could be 2 5  | P a g e   calculated for the design under consideration. Obviously, it is best to decide on weighting factors ahead of conducting the LCA.  At the level of UBC, a university that pledged to become carbon neutral and like to become a beacon for environmental research, LCA should be an integral part of the campus planning office. Studies like the ones conducted for this course make for a good reference to use to screen designs for environmental impacts and cost. The quality of the studies however is doubtful.  A thorough check of every one of them is necessary by other students under direct supervision of the project manager: the instructor. Annex C- Author Reflection My first exposure to LCA was when I heard a talk by the (CIVL498C) course instructor –Rob Sianchuk- at another class on sustainability and environment. It was a revelation to me. The idea of a holistic approach to evaluating anything has a lot of intrinsic value. It makes you wish politicians and national decision makers thought in those terms. So, yes LCA sounded like the logical approach to analyzing the impact of systems, but it was also obvious that LCA has some ways to go before maturity.  Applicable data is not always easy to come by and the tools are not exactly intuitive.  But all that comes with time and research.  As a part of my CEEN program studies, I have to take another course that deals with LCA from an energy perspective. So I could not pass the opportunity to take CIVL498C as well. The two courses which are run totally differently could be a way to sub-specialize. I can’t say it has worked…yet. But I could say, I do see the potentials for LCA to become an integral part of a design package. Just the same as stress analysis, fluid dynamics and heat transfer analysis software became integral modules of mechanical design tool packages.  The concept of LCA as being applicable to everything that has environmental impact is undisputable. But for LCA to progress fast, it has to specialize. Why? Because flexibility in a general purpose LCA software means a steeper learning curve.  Experts in a given field want something “intuitive” for them. Athena’s IE focus on the construction industry is the 2 6  | P a g e   right approach to LCA. User friendliness and integration with a tool like OST would be great.  I’ve written before about including time as another parameter to consider when evaluating the environmental impacts of buildings. That is equivalent to defining a “reference flow” for the study. A building that, by virtue of its construction, could reasonably be assumed to last twice as long as the specs call for ought to be credited for “avoided” environmental impact. And finally: 2 7  | P a g e   Graduate AttributeM. Charif Meng ProgramSelect the content code most appropriate for each attribute from the dropdown menueComments on which of the CEAB graduate attributes you believe you had to demonstrate during your final project experience.1 Knowledge BaseDemonstrated competence in university level mathematics, natural sciences, engineering fundamentals, and specialized engineering knowledge appropriate to the program.The report required  some knowledge of a specific engineering field, namely construction. It also required the application of specific emerging engineering tools (Athena Impact Estimator and OnScreen Takeoff software)2 Problem AnalysisAn ability to use appropriate knowledge and skills to identify, formulate, analyze, and solve complex engineering problems in order to reach substantiated conclusions.In evaluating and verifying the validity of certain results there had to be some analysis, comparisons and calculations. 3 InvestigationAn ability to conduct investigations of complex problems by methods that include appropriate experiments, analysis and interpretation of data, and synthesis of information in order to reach valid conclusions.There was a need for data analysis and identification of false results.4 DesignAn ability to design solutions for complex, open-ended engineering problems and to design systems, components or processes that meet specified needs with appropriate attention to health and safety risks, applicable standards, and economic, environmental, cultural and societal considerations.Not so applicable in the context of this course5 Use fo Engineering ToolsAn ability to create, select, apply, adapt, and extend appropriate techniques, resources, and modern engineering tools to a range of engineering activities, from simple to complex, with an understanding of the associated limitations.6 Individual and Team WorkAn ability to work effectively as a member and leader in teams, preferably in a multi-disciplinary setting.Team I worked in was multi-displinary. The course emphasized both individua;l and team activitties.7 CommunicationAn ability to communicate complex engineering concepts within the profession and with society at large. Such ability includes reading, writing, speaking and listening, and the ability to comprehend and write effective reports and design documentation, and to give and effectively respond to clear instructions.The final report did in fact require developped communication schemes to expalin ideas, concepts, models and results.8 Professionalism An understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the professional engineer in society, especially the primary role of protection of the public and the public interest.Hosting practicing professionals in the classroom was a good way to convey these ideas.9 Impact of Engineering on Society and the EnvironmentAn ability to analyze social and environmental aspects of engineering activities.  Such ability includes an understanding of the interactions that engineering has with the economic, social, health, safety, legal, and cultural aspects of society, the uncertainties in the prediction of such interactions; and the concepts of sustainable design and development and environmental stewardship.The course itself has for focus the impact of engineering constructs on the environment and the health of people. There were occasions where  professional and legal responsibilities discussed.1 0 Ethics and EquityAn ability to apply professional ethics, accountability, and equity.Not so much directly but indirectly.1 1 Economics and Project ManagementAn ability to appropriately incorporate economics and business practices including project, risk, and change management into the practice of engineering and to understand their limitations.Economics of construction  a small part of course. At least one guest speaker addressed the issue.1 2 Life-long LearningAn ability to identify and to address their own educational needs in a changing world in ways sufficient to maintain their competence and to allow them to contribute to the advancement of knowledge.striving to adavnce my knowledge and exppand it in directions unkown to beofre, that is why I am back at the university. 2 8  | P a g e     Annex D- Impact Estimator Inputs and Assumptions The IE_Inputs and IE_ Assumptions documents are attached as separate folders for better quality.  Both documents are included in the paper report.           

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.18861.1-0108746/manifest

Comment

Related Items