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Open Access Reducing the Environmental Impact of Construction by Using Renewable Materials

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The relative importance of embodied energy and operational energy on the environmental impact of construction are examined in this article. It highlights the fact that the targets set by the Kyoto Protocol are primarily being met by the reduction of in-use energy, and that the implications of that are that the energy embodied in buildings will increase in significance from its current 17% level to 50% by 2050. The article describes how the use of bio-based renewable materials can make a significant contribution to reducing not only the embodied energy of buildings by using the sequestration of CO2 through photosynthesis, but also in-use energy demand through passive environmental control. Case studies are presented showing ways in which this has been achieved.
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Keywords: BIO-BASED MATERIALS; CARBON SEQUESTRATION; EMBODIED ENERGY; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT; HEMP-LIME; LIFE-CYCLE ASSESSMENT; STRAW BALE; TRANSIENT THERMAL PERFORMANCE; VAPOUR-ACTIVE MATERIALS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2015

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  • This journal publishes high quality peer reviewed original research and review articles on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. JRM showcases both fundamental aspects and applications of renewable materials. The fundamental topics include the synthesis and polymerization of biobased monomers and macromonomers, the chemical modification of natural polymers, as well as the characterization, structure-property relationships, processing, recycling, bio and environmental degradation and life cycle analysis of the ensuing materials, in view of their potential applications. Within this sustainability approach, green chemistry processes and studies falling within biorefinery contexts are strongly favored.
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