A Life Cycle Assessment of Emissions Reduction Potential in the Existing Irish Housing Stock:a Perspective of International and Domestic Sources
Proceedings of SEEP2012, 05-08 June 2012, DCU, Dublin, Ireland
As the volume of imported materials increases, the magnitude of the imported environmental impacts becomes a greater factor in the energy demand and related CO2 emissions from the residential sector. As supply chains of goods within the global arena expands across country and region, domestic consumption of imported goods results in CO2 emissions in countries of production. Given that these emissions are attributable to countries of import, directing information towards environmental policy experts on a complete view of total emissions of retrofitting along international and domestic sources will have an impact on decision making, and for the first time in Ireland a study of the shares (%) of these sources is the primary aim of this paper. The housing stock has been categorised into thirteen representative archetypes to statistically reflect the mix of key energy related characteristics within the stock of Irish dwellings. Detailed life cycle inventories were prepared for each these archetypes to identify their impacts and then a suite of energy efficient retrofit technologies were applied under ‘meet current building regulations’(current standard) and ‘meet anticipated future regulations’ (passive house standard) to identify the impact of retrofitting on life cycle performance of the housing stock. Results show that although for the average dwelling, operational phase consumption and emissions is much greater than any other phase across all options, there is a wide variation in the shares (%) of international and domestic sources on this balance across the retrofit options.