Analysing methodological choices in calculations of embodied energy and GHG emissions from buildings

Freja Nygaard Rasmussen, Tove Malmqvist, Alice Moncaster, Aoife Houlihan Wiberg, Harpa Birgisdottir

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The importance of embodied energy and embodied greenhouse gas emissions (EEG) from buildings is gaining increased interest within building sector initiatives and on a regulatory level. In spite of recent har- monisation efforts, reported results of EEG from building case studies display large variations in numerical results due to variations in the chosen indicators, data sources and both temporal and physical boundaries. The aim of this paper is to add value to existing EEG research knowledge by systematically explaining and analysing the methodological implications of the quantitative results obtained, thus providing a framework for reinterpretation and more effective comparison. The collection of over 80 international case studies developed within the International Energy Agency’s EBC Annex 57 research programme is used as the quantitative foundation to present a comprehensive analysis of the multiple interacting methodological parameters. The analysis of methodological parameters is structured by the stepwise methodological choices made in the building EEG assessment practice. Each of six assessment process steps involves one or more methodological choices relevant to the EEG results, and the combination potentials between these many parameters signifies a multitude of ways in which the outcome of EEG studies are affected.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Pages (from-to)1487–1498
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • EN15978 standard
  • Embodied GHG emissions
  • Embodied energy
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Methodological choices
  • Sustainable building

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