UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Creative reuse: visualisation of life cycle carbon calculations for new and existing buildings

The built environment is responsible for approximately 40% of global energy consumption. Non-domestic buildings are responsible for 17% of the carbon emissions in the UK. Robust building performance assessment methods are therefore paramount for reducing energy consumption in the built environment. Current environmental assessment methods for the building industry present overly prescriptive definitions of sustainable design, sometimes failing to have a more holistic view of the project by not sufficiently analysing it’s lifecycle impact. This can discourage refurbishment even where it may be the more sustainable option. 

Creative Reuse aims to use LCA (Life Cycle Analysis method) as a measurement of operational and embodied energy in buildings. The research aims to develop a user friendly and scientifically robust tool which would enable professionals to visually compare the Life Cycle Carbon Calculations of new and existing commercial buildings. 

By developing a suite of computational tools which would enable to identify the most effective ways of visual communication of LCA to both lay audience and design teams, this research hopes that designers will be able to improve the process of decision making, the accuracy of building performance predictions and the clearly of communication between design teams and clients.