Conference Contribution Details
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Niall P. Dunphy
23rd Irish Environmental Researcher's Colloquium
Comparison of four standards as a basis for the quantification of lifecycle GHG emission implications of building retrofits
Galway, Ireland
Oral Presentation
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The need for consideration of lifecycle greenhouse gas implications of building energy retrofits is becoming more accepted and lifecycle GHG is increasingly being used as an evaluation metric for building energy retrofit projects, estimating the net climate impact of intervention options. However such studies are not without weaknesses, lack of standardisation means that they are rarely comparable. Additionally, they are often weakened by unclear assumptions; arbitrary boundary setting; variable data quality; indifference to temporal issues; and poor communication of results. This paper presents a comparative assessment on the use of four standards to evaluation the greenhouse gas implication of building energy retrofits, viz.

ISO 14044:2006 Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Requirements and guidelines;

PAS 2050:2011 Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and service;

Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard;

EN 15978:2011 Sustainability of construction works - Assessment of environmental performance of buildings - Calculation method.

The papers explores the commonalities and differences between the methodologies required by the standards, in such areas as: boundary setting; cut-off thresholds; allocation; date provenance and quality; capital goods; carbon storage; temporal issues; etc. The role of appropriate product category rules to provide for a common approach is examined and the meaning for lifecycle GHG determination for building retrofits is discussed.

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