5: Materials

Wednesday, October 2, 3:15 PM
Mebane Gallery, Goldsmith Hall

How might old and new materials be more energy efficient and effective in a lifecycle view?

According to Bribián, Capilla, and Usón,“At a world level, civil works and building construction consumes 60% of the raw materials extracted from the lithosphere.” Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a bourgeoning field that accounts for the total energy and environmental impacts of a material from the extraction of raw materials, processing, manufacturing, packaging, transportation, useful life, and reprocessing or disposal. From this, the total primary energy demand, global warming potential, and water demand can be calculated for each product. How do various materials compare? Bribián, Capilla, and Usón have calculated that wood and PVC have nearly equivalent total primary energy and CO2 emissions per square meter. Is it better then to build in wood or plastic?

KaufmannMUN: Hermann Kaufmann (BIO)
Chair, Timber Construction, Technische Universitaet Muenchen

FairclothAUS: Billie Faircloth (BIO)
Research Director, KieranTimberlake

SnyderMOD: Vince Snyder (BIO)
Associate Professor, School of Architecture, UT Austin