A Performance Analysis of Klimagassregnskap Case Study Løvåshagen

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

    Abstract

    The focus of this paper is on the emissions related to energy use of building operations and materials in use, using a Norwegian online programme called Klimagasregneskap.no. The research questions how robust and rigorous the programme is and whether the results are credible. The central question is how useful this tool is for use in the development of Zero Emissions Buildings at early design stage when feedback on emissions of materials choice is most critical. Calculating the emissions of proposed ZEB pilot projects is a key aspect of creating zero emissions buildings. In order to improve performance and reduce impact we need to measure it. The main thrust of the research is to develop a transparent and robust method to calculate CO2 emissions in future ZEB buildings from the operational energy and materials use on an annual and lifetime (60 years) basis. An initial literature review found that although there are databases of embodied carbon values for most building materials, however, the range in results for various materials are varied and inconsistent. Discrepancies amongst existing databases can arise from the choice of system boundaries and the emission factor used for electricity production in the country where the material is produced. Current options to assess environmental impact include but are not limited to conducting Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), building performance assessment tools and green house gas accounting tools. The strengths and weaknesses of Klimagassregnskap.no was examined by testing on a ZEB case study project to see if it is robust and rigorous and whether the results are credible. The results from the klimagassregnskap.no programme, show a range in emissions from the operational energy and materials use between 39 and 48 kg CO2eq per m2 per year for each block respectively. The report found the database of emission factors for materials which underpins Klimagasregneskap.no to be robust and reliable, although some further work is needed to verify the inputs used in the calculation of the emission factors. The visualization of emissions from materials has the potential to be an important decision making tool in the choice of materials based on environmental impact. However, many of the problems encountered are associated with the software interface which in addition was found to be time consuming and complex for the average user. The programme suffers from a lack of transparency in emissions calculation which oftentimes appears as a ‘black box’ to the non-specialist user. Moreover, it was also found to have limited input categories and lacks flexibility to add new ‘state of the art’ materials in order to analyse associated emissions. It was also found that the choice of emission factor for electricity production in the country where the material is produced has a significant impact on the resulting emissions for each material. It is acknowledged that many, though not all, of the problems identified in this report have also been addressed by Statsbygg and Civitas. The research concludes that Klimagassregneskap.no in its current state is not suitable for use in ZEB. However, there is potential for Klimagassregneskap.no to play an important role with BREEAM when it is adapted to Norwegian conditions as discussed at the end of this report. The report concludes that a simple, transparent and accurate method of CO2 emissions calculation is needed to assess the environmental impact of future ZEB buildings at all stages of design. This should be underpinned by a materials database (including emission factors) which can be easily added to and updated. The most important aspect is that the method should make it easy for the user to visualize the impact on CO2 emissions of their choice of energy supply and material use A Performance Analysis of Klimagassregnskap Case Study Løvåshagen
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherZEB
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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