UBC Undergraduate Research

Life cycle assessment of a MURB : Bi Sharma, Navratna; Seif, Soroush; De Wit, Ben

Abstract

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study has been conducted on the Bi Building located on the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver, Canada. The building is a Multi Unit Residential Building (MURB). It has been requested by the Sustainability Office at UBC. This LCA study looks at the cradle to grave life cycle of a building and generates the environmental impact of a product system. In this case, the building is considered the product system. The main components of the life cycle of this building system include the construction products manufacturing, construction, and maintenance over the 99 year life cycle, and end of life demolition. Also included are the annual and total operating energy consumptions of the building. The Impact Categories selected for this project are Global Warming potential, Acidification potential, Eutrophication potential, Ozone depletion potential, Photochemical Smog Potential, Human health respiratory effects potential, weighted raw resource use, and primary energy consumption. This study is based on the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards, including the goal and scope document. Analysis is conducted on the Bill of Materials, Inventory, as well as the Building Functions. This is in addition to a Sensitivity Analysis of 5 building components. The analysis has found that of the 5 building components, the Bi building is most sensitive from an environmental impact prospective due to changes to the 20 MPa concrete with average flyash. A major reason this study is carried out is to analyze the Fenestration Ratio from an LCA prospective. It has been found than increase in glazing results in the increase of overall environmental impact of the building system. There is however a decrease in impact during the end of life process. 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.”

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada

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