Simplified LCA in skin design: the FB 720 case
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The Facade FB720 project is the result of research funded by the Spanish Government's Centre for Industrial Technological Development (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial, CDTI) (IDI-20090761). The aim of the project was to design and develop a lightweight, modular, unitised facade with low environmental impact and high energy efficiency, mainly for use in the Iberian Peninsula (temperate climates). Strategies to achieve the objective are: • Reduction of material consumption and change of usual materials to renewable or recycled ones. • Use of the wall structure and the transparent layers as selective solar control elements. The design of the facade starts from an architectural proposal by b720 Architects and counts on the joint participation of several consultancy companies and research centres. The simplified life cycle assessment (LCA) was carried out by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) in collaboration with Societat Orgànica environmental consulting. The thermal and lighting studies were carried out by JG Engineers Consultancy. Both studies make it possible to optimise the overall environmental performance of the project. The features and performances of the designed facade system have been verified calculating its environmental impacts in all phases of the life cycle, energy simulations for the operational phase and various physical tests conducted on prototypes. These processes included rectifications and adjustment in order to optimise the facade design. Preliminary results show that the FB720 facade energy consumption and CO2 emissions due to production of materials, transportation, construction, maintenance and deconstruction are 50% lower compared to a conventional high quality light modular facade. In terms of light and thermal energy, savings in the zones in direct contact with the best thermal facade version are about 34%. This article focuses on the results of LCA developed in the curtain wall FB720 design stage, as well as on additional opportunities to reduce impacts on the phases of materials production, transportation, erection, maintenance and end of life cycle. The thermal and lightning studies of the use phase are not included in this article because of length limitations.
CitationWadel, G. [et al.]. Simplified LCA in skin design: the FB 720 case. "International journal of sustainable building technology and urban development", 2013, vol. 4, núm. 1, p. 68-81.