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Future scenarios for climate mitigation of new construction in Sweden: Effects of different technological pathways

Peñaloza, Diego, Erlandsson, Martin, Berlin, Johanna, Wålinder, Magnus, Falk, Andreas
Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.187 pp. 1025-1035
biobased products, buildings, climate, climate change, concrete, construction materials, energy resources, life cycle assessment, market share, models, residential housing, statistics, technological change, wood products, Sweden
A variety of climate mitigation strategies is available to mitigate climate impacts of buildings. Several studies evaluating the effectiveness of these strategies have been performed at the building stock level, but do not consider the technological change in building material manufacturing. The objective of this study is to evaluate the climate mitigation effects of increasing the use of biobased materials in the construction of new residential dwellings in Sweden under future scenarios related to technological change. A model to estimate the climate impact from Swedish new dwellings has been proposed combining official statistics and life cycle assessment data of seven different dwelling typologies. Eight future scenarios for increased use of harvested wood products are explored under different pathways for changes in the market share of typologies and in energy generation. The results show that an increased use of harvested wood products results in lower climate impacts in all scenarios evaluated, but reductions decrease if the use of low-impact concrete expands more rapidly or under optimistic energy scenarios. Results are highly sensitive to the choice of climate impact metric. The Swedish construction sector can only reach maximum climate change mitigation scenarios if the low-impact building typologies are implemented together and rapidly.