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LCA of energy generating components for facade integration in existing high-rise buildings

: Lenz, Katrin; Wittstock, Bastian; Jäger, Michael; Schneider, Sarah; Sedlbauer, Klaus


International journal of sustainable building technology and urban development 3 (2012), No.3, pp.168-176
ISSN: 2093-761X
ISSN: 2093-7628
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IBP ()

The current European building stock offers high potential for implementing renewable energy systems to be able to reduce the use of fossil energy for building services. In practice, solar thermal or photovoltaic systems are often favoured for new residential buildings all over Europe. But also non-residential buildings should be taken into account for applying such systems to exploit the whole potential.
Within the EU project "Cost-Effective" five energy generating facade components are being developed to supply existing high-rise buildings, for non-residential use, with thermal energy or electricity, which is produced from renewable sources. Apart from showing the potential of a reduced use of fossil energy for building services, the project aims also at setting up cost-effective and environmentally beneficial solutions for the integration of the components.
In a first step, building categories (e.g. high-rise buildings constructed before 1945), which are potentially of high interest for applying the new developed components, have been identified. In a second step technical concepts have been set up, which combine retrofit measures for improving the building skin on the one side and the suitable usage and the integration of the new developed components within the building on the other side.
Furthermore, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for the new components is carried out, including the environmental assessment of their whole life cycle. As the components are expected to have a significant influence on the environmental performance of the building, especially within the operation phase, the assessment focuses on the energy production of the component e.g. for heating, cooling and ventilation purposes. The paper presents the basic principles for conducting the LCA of the newly developed components, taking into account the whole component life cycle and the component's environmental influence within the use phase of a building.