A quantitative approach to the assessment of the environmental impact of building materials

D. J. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The materials from which a building is constructed make a significant contribution to its overall impact on the environment. This impact is felt in a number of ways; locally, through the effects of activities such as quarrying; globally, as a result of carbon dioxide released by using energy used to manufacture the materials; and internally, in the effects on the health of the occupants of the building. Some of these effects are easier to measure than others, and comparisons between the seriousness of the different effects are difficult to make. It therefore seems unreasonable to attempt to devise a single figure of merit for the overall environmental impact of a building; what is needed is a profile which gathers together a range of indicators, but allows them to remain separate. This article describes the development of such an environmental profile which can be used as a design aid, and illustrates its use with a case study of a typical British house. © 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-758
Number of pages8
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume34
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999

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