Life cycle energy consumption and environmental burdens associated with energy technologies and buildings

  • Craig Jones

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This portfolio of published research contains nine papers and assesses the life cycle environmental burdens of energy technologies and buildings. Several analytical tools were used but these all fall under the umbrella of environmental life cycle assessment (LCA), and include energy analysis, carbon appraisal and the consideration of other environmental issues.The life cycle of all products starts with an assessment of embodied impacts. The current author has completed significant research on the embodied carbon of materials. This includes the creation of a leading embodied carbon database (the ICE database) for materials which has been downloaded by over 10,000 professionals and has made a significant contribution to knowledge.This portfolio of work includes analysis on methods for recycling in embodied impact assessment and LCA. This is an influential topic and therefore appears in two of the publications. The ICE database was applied by the current author to over 40 domestic building case studies and an embodied carbon model for buildings was created from these. The latter was used to provide benchmark values for six types of new houses in the UK.The portfolio of work then progresses to full LCA of energy systems. LCA is used to assess the embodied impacts versus operational impacts of 11 kV electrical cables. In this case embodied impacts were not significant and preference should be given to reducing electrical losses in the cables. The tool of LCA was then applied to a national electricity network. It revealed that Lebanon had a particularly poor centralised electricity network that was both unreliable and unsustainable with high impacts in all environmental categories.The final paper in this portfolio is on Building Integrated PV (BIPV) and brings together all aspects of the current author’s work and knowledge. It considers embodied burdens, electricity generation and BIPV can replace roofing materials.
Date of Award1 Apr 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorGeoff Hammond (Supervisor)


  • environment
  • life cycle assessment
  • embodied carbon

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