An Integrated Method to Evaluate Sustainability for Vulnerable Buildings Addressing Life Cycle Embodied Impacts and Resource Use

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Abstract

The vulnerability of buildings faces further scrutiny as gaps in design, construction, operation, and maintenance remain. Although there has been noticeable progress in the field, the frequency and magnitude of building damage during natural events highlight the fact that sustainable infrastructure has not yet reached all targets. In this study, sustainability aspects of vulnerable buildings are revisited to propose more robust measures to prevent damage and a lack of functionality. Those measured are underpinned by the merging of environmental and structural sustainability for one novel integrated approach. The method devises structural intervention scenarios based on damage levels and service period. It also aims at reducing resource use and embodied impacts through the discretization of standard life cycle analysis into customized stages. The integrated method to evaluate sustainability is tested on two vulnerable buildings in Turkey and Mexico, built with different codes of practice and having experienced low to medium damage during severe earthquake events. Research findings indicate that although embodied impacts form a minor part of the building life cycle environmental impacts, sustainable structural interventions can further reduce both embodied impacts and demands on natural resources. Hence strengthening vulnerable buildings can provide an advantage to help the sustainable transformation of cities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10204
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • vulnerable buildings
  • structural strengthening
  • environmental sustainability
  • life cycle
  • environmental assessment
  • embodied carbon
  • embodied energy
  • resource use
  • Turkey
  • Mexico

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