Life cycle assessment of masonry wall types using simulation techniques

Üçer, Deniz
This is the report of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study on some masonry wall types. As the starting point, literature on masonry materials, techniques and possible end-of-life scenarios were examined that are needed for the formulation of a LCA study. Prevalent masonry types were detected as fired clay brick, AAC block, natural stone, mud brick as well as prevalent end-of-life cases as landfill, reuse and recycling. Additionally, an overview of the literature on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was presented in order to detect a framework for the structure of a LCA study. After the collection of all needed information, several possible life cycle scenarios were formulated in a realistic manner for each stated masonry type. Obtained information was applied to a LCA evaluation software product named SimaPro life cycle inventory software (PRé Consultants, 2012). By means of the software product, general scores of environmental impact for all alternatives were obtained. Besides analyzing and comparing the scores, basic reasons behind the results were discussed in terms of similarity and difference. The results reveal that when the requirements shaping the wall are clearly described, the most and the least environmental friendly wall types are detectable. During the study two main scopes, such as commonly used wall thicknesses and thicknesses for thermal insulation were described and several types of walls with life cycle alternatives were labeled as the most or the least harmful to nature. To conclude, although it is not reasonable to point out one type of masonry as the least harmful one for any cases, the conditions of each case detect the most and the least v harmful type of masonry walls. Nevertheless, the relatively low environmental impact of mud brick masonry is striking. Therefore the environmental friendly aspect of mud brick masonry is underlined –one more time- by the results of this study.


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Citation Formats
D. Üçer, “Life cycle assessment of masonry wall types using simulation techniques,” M.Arch. - Master of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, 2012.