A Life cycle assessment of a “minus carbon” refugee house: Global warming potential and Sensitivity analysis

Marwa Dabaieh, Nargessadat Emami, Jukka Taneli Heinonen, Björn Marteinsson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last eight years, the Middle East has experienced a series of high profile conflicts which have resulted in over 5.6 million Syrians forced to migrate to neighbouring countries within the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region or to Europe. That have exerted huge pressure on hosting countries trying to accommodate refugees in decent shelters and in quick manner. Temporary shelters normally carry a high environmental burden due to their short lifespan, and the majority are fabricated from industrialised materials. This study assesses the carbon impact for a minus carbon experimental refugee house in Sweden using life cycle assessment (LCA) as tool. SimaPro and GaBi software were used for the calculations and the ReCiPe Midpoint method for impact assessment. The results show that using local plant-based materials such as straw, reeds and wood, together with clay dug from close to the construction site, can drastically reduce the carbon footprint of temporary shelters and even attain a negative carbon impact of 226.2 KgCO2/kg. Based on the results of the uncertainty importance analysis, the overall global warming potential impact without and with sequestration potential are mostly sensitive to the variability of the GWP impact of wood fibre insulation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchnet-IJAR : International Journal of Architectural Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)559-579
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2020


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