UBC Undergraduate Research

Life cycle assessment of the Hebb Building Ferma, Kristen


The life cycle assessment of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Hebb Building, a reinforced concrete structure constructed in 1964 and consisting of a tower and a theatre, was performed as an exploratory study to determine the environmental impact of its design. This LCA of the Hebb Building is also part of a series of twenty-nine others being carried out simultaneously on respective buildings at UBC to establish the possibility of carrying out environmental performance comparisons across UBC buildings over time and between different materials, structural types and building functions. The Hebb Building was modeled using OnCenter’s On-Screen Takeoff and Athena Sustainable Materials Institute’s Impact Estimator (IE) to attain the Bill of Materials and Summary Measures. The Bill of Materials obtained shows that the five most significant materials of the Hebb Building are ballast, concrete, extruded polystyrene, Ontario brick, and rebar. The Summary Measures lists the effects of the eight impact categories during the manufacturing and construction phases, and it was observed that the primary energy consumption and weighted resource use of the Hebb Building were most significant, while the ozone depletion and eutrophication potential are quite minimal. Performing sensitivity analyses on five substantial materials present in the building and examining their affects on each of the impact categories relative to the total building impact shows that a 10% increase in the amount of concrete has the most considerable effect on each of the impact categories. Lastly, through building performance modeling, it was determined that by upgrading the current insulation and window type of 1” extruded polystyrene and standard glazing to 2.5” foam polyisocyanurate and low E silver argon filled glazing, the Hebb Building’s energy performance can be significantly improved over its service life. An energy payback period of 0.6 years was found for the improved Hebb Building. 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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