The decarbonization of the construction sector, which is one of the most impactful sectors worldwide, requires a significant paradigm shift from a linear economy to a circular, future-proofed and sustainable economy. In this transition, the role of designers and structural engineers becomes pivotal, and new design objectives and principles inspired by Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) should be defined and included from the early stages of the design process to allow for a truly sustainable renovation of the built environment. In this paper, an overview of LCT-based objectives and principles is provided, critically analyzing the current state of the art of sustainability and circularity in the construction sector. The effectiveness of applying such design principles from the early stages of the design of retrofit interventions is then demonstrated with reference to a case study building. Four seismic retrofit alternatives made of timber, steel and concrete, conceived according to either LCT principles or traditional, were designed and compared to a demolition and reconstruction scenario on the basis of five common environmental impact indicators. The indicators were calculated adopting simplified LCA analyses based on Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), considering the product and End of Life stages of the building. The results of the comparative analyses confirm that LCT-based retrofit solutions are less impactful than both the traditional seismic retrofit interventions and the demolition and reconstruction scenario.

The LCT Challenge: Defining New Design Objectives to Increase the Sustainability of Building Retrofit Interventions

Pinho R.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The decarbonization of the construction sector, which is one of the most impactful sectors worldwide, requires a significant paradigm shift from a linear economy to a circular, future-proofed and sustainable economy. In this transition, the role of designers and structural engineers becomes pivotal, and new design objectives and principles inspired by Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) should be defined and included from the early stages of the design process to allow for a truly sustainable renovation of the built environment. In this paper, an overview of LCT-based objectives and principles is provided, critically analyzing the current state of the art of sustainability and circularity in the construction sector. The effectiveness of applying such design principles from the early stages of the design of retrofit interventions is then demonstrated with reference to a case study building. Four seismic retrofit alternatives made of timber, steel and concrete, conceived according to either LCT principles or traditional, were designed and compared to a demolition and reconstruction scenario on the basis of five common environmental impact indicators. The indicators were calculated adopting simplified LCA analyses based on Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), considering the product and End of Life stages of the building. The results of the comparative analyses confirm that LCT-based retrofit solutions are less impactful than both the traditional seismic retrofit interventions and the demolition and reconstruction scenario.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1474842
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