Impact of service life on the environmental performance of buildings
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The environmental performance assessment of the building and construction sector has been in discussion due to the increasing demand of facilities and its impact on the environment. The life cycle studies carried out over the last decade have mostly used an approximate life span of a building without considering the building component replacement requirements and their service life. This limitation results in unreliable outcomes and a huge volume of materials going to landfill. This study was performed to develop a relationship between the service life of a building and building components, and their impact on environmental performance. Twelve building combinations were modelled by considering two types of roof frames, two types of wall and three types of footings. A reference building of a 50-year service life was used in comparisons. Firstly, the service life of the building and building components and the replacement intervals of building components during active service life were estimated. The environmental life cycle assessment (ELCA) was carried out for all the buildings and results are presented on a yearly basis in order to study the impact of service life. The region-specific impact categories of cumulative energy demand, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and land use are used to assess the environmental performance of buildings. The analysis shows that the environmental performance of buildings is affected by the service life of a building and the replacement intervals of building components.
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