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Assessment tools for the environmental evaluation of concrete, plaster and brick elements production

Giama, E., Papadopoulos, A.M.
Journal of cleaner production 2015 v.99 pp. 75-85
bricks, carbon footprint, concrete, construction materials, energy efficiency, environmental assessment, environmental impact, life cycle assessment, manufacturing, plaster, raw materials
The production of construction materials accounts for significant quantities of raw materials and respectively big amounts of energy. The fact that construction materials contribute in a most decisive way to sustainable building management has been proven by many studies; they are therefore rightly important elements for the energy conscious and bioclimatic design and construction of new buildings.Their exact and environmental features, however, have to be determined on a product specific base, as they depend on the raw material used, the manufacturing process applied and the energy sources used for the production. Furthermore, the determination of the materials' environmental impact can be carried out in many methodological ways.This paper presents the environmental impacts deriving from the environmental evaluation analysis of the most widely used construction materials, on the base of two environmental assessment methodologies: the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and the Carbon Footprint Analysis, also discussing their link with ecolabelling.The results drawn, verify the potential of those methodologies as effective tools towards sustainable constructions as well the role that efficient energy and raw materials use has in reducing the environmental impact of building materials' production.