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Developing a Life Cycle Carbon Quantification approach for Buildings

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Seneviratne
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Global warming is not only an environmental issue but also one of the biggest challenges the international community face. Emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is considered to be the key driver of global warming, which is mainly caused by the use of non-renewable energy. The consumption of energy for the building sector is significant in many of the countries and hence buildings largely contribute to increased GHG emissions. Therefore, building sector has a greater potential for reducing GHG emissions. As emissions arise throughout a building’s life cycle starting at product stage (embodies carbon from the material manufacturing process) through construction, until use and final disposal stage of the building, those emissions can be identified and quantified to produce a carbon life cycle footprint for a building, which then helps to identify appropriate strategies to reduce the emissions from buildings. Typically, three quarter of the emissions is associated with the use stage and the rest is associated with the product stage, though the ratio varies according to building type. As usage emissions contribute most to the buildings’ carbon footprint, to date most of the focus has been to construct energy efficient buildings that reduce the energy consumption though better design and management in use. This shifted the relative importance of carbon emissions during the other life cycle stages of a building. In fact, the energy efficient buildings increased the relative contribution of product stage emission. Therefore, a life cycle approach to carbon quantification is needed to reduce overall carbon emissions. Approaches/guidelines are developed to assess the amount of carbon emission at different stages though a holistic approach to produce a carbon life cycle footprint for a building is not found. Therefore, aim of this study is to develop an integrated approach to assess the carbon life cycle footprint for a building through investigating the different approaches used to assess the carbon emissions in different building life cycle stages.

The successful candidate for this PhD project will be based in the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Building Design on the University’s Dubai campus.

Funding Notes

This is a Fees Scholarship which will fund tuition fees (regardless of fee status) for the 3 year duration of the project. The successful candidate will be required to fund their own living costs or seek external funding to support this.

To be eligible, applicants should have a first-class honours degree in a relevant subject or a 2.1 honours degree plus Masters (or equivalent).

How good is research at Heriot-Watt University in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning?
(joint submission with University of Edinburgh)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.70

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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