Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The quantification of the embodied impacts of construction projects on energy, environment, and society based on I–O LCA

Abstract: With rapid social development and large-scale construction of infrastructure in China, construction projects have become one of the driving forces for the national economy, whose energy consumption, environmental emissions, and social impacts are significant. To completely understand the role of construction projects in Chinese society, this study developed input–output life-cycle assessment models based on 2002, 2005, and 2007 economic benchmarks. Inventory indicators included 10 types of energy, 7 kinds of environmental emissions, and 7 kinds of social impacts. Results show that embodied energy of construction projects in China accounts for 25–30% of total energy consumption; embodied SO2 emissions are being controlled, and the intensities of embodied NOx and CO2 have been reduced. However, given that the construction sector related employment is 17% of the total employment in China, the accidents and fatalities related to the construction sector are significant and represent approximately 50% of the national total. The embodied human and capital investments in science and technology (ST) increased from 2002 to 2007. The embodied full time equivalent (FTE) of each ST person also increased while the personal ST funding and intramural expenditures decreased. This might result from the time lag between RD activities and large-scale implementation.

by Yuan, Chang 1 , Robert J., Ries 1 , Yaowu, Wang 2
Energy Policy via Elsevier Science Direct www.ScienceDirect.com
In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 6 August 2011
1. M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Building Construction, University of Florida, 331 Rinker Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
2. School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, PR China
Keywords: Input–output life cycle assessment; Embodied impacts; Construction projects

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