UBC Undergraduate Research

Whole building life cycle assessment : Neville Scarfe Building Mahiban, Aaron


This report details a life cycle assessment conducted for the Neville Scarfe building at the University of British Columbia. The portion of the building studied was built in 1961 and is a concrete building with suspended slab floors throughout. The main function of the building is classroom oriented space, however it also includes a staff lounge, a student lounge and a large lecture theater. The material takeoffs for this study were conducted using OnCenter’s Onscreen Takeoff program. Relevant drawings for the building were imported into Onscreen Takeoff as PDF files, to be used for measuring specific dimensions. Once the quantity takeoffs were completed, the amount of each material was entered into Athena’s Impact Estimator software. Referencing an LCI database, this program gave a summary of a number of environmental impacts embodied within the manufacturing and construction of the Scarfe building. The total primary energy required for the construction of the building was 192.6 Mega Joules per square foot of academic building space. It was also determined that the building’s concrete content played the largest role in its environmental impacts. By increasing the volume of concrete by 10%, an average increase of 6% for all measured impacts was observed. Furthermore, it was determined that by bringing the Scarfe building’s insulation up to current standards, the energy savings would surpass the upgrade’s embodied energy in less than two years. This study found that while the Scarfe building was built to the standard of the day, it falls far below the efficiency levels of modern buildings. The full goal and scope, methodology, results and conclusions of the study can be found in the subsequent sections of this report. 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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