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Essay: Could new build houses in the UK be carbon negative in terms of embodied energy?

MSc Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies

Craig Embleton, 0750553, Group 1 (Melissa Taylor), C1 (Environmental


Assessment, Management and Performance In Buildings) Essay

COULD NEW BUILD HOUSES IN THE UK BE CARBON


NEGATIVE IN TERMS OF EMBODIED ENERGY?

Word Count 2242

admin@greenfrontier.org
http://www.greenfrontier.org

For the attention of Melissa Taylor

July 6th 2009

Craig Embleton, 0750553, Group 1 (Melissa Taylor), C1 Essay admin@greenfrontier.org Page 1 of 48


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS.............................................................................................. 2

INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................ 3

CRITICAL ANALYSIS................................................................................................ 4

CONCLUSION.......................................................................................................... 21

BIBLIOGRAPHY...................................................................................................... 23

APPENDICES........................................................................................................... 28
Introduction

This essay relates to the lecture ‘Environmental Impacts of Buildings’ of Module C1.

The Housing and Regeneration Bill ‘Supports the delivery of three million new

homes by 2020 … and …provides for the establishment of new settlements like eco-

towns’ (UK Parliament, 2008).

This could be enormously costly in terms of CO2 emissions. Energy used

constructing buildings is known as embodied energy. Harris and Borer describe

embodied energy as ‘the primary energy used in all the different stages of materials

processing’ (2005). It is measured in kilowatt-hours, Megajoules or, because there is

a direct relationship between embodied energy and CO2 emissions, CO2 per tonne of

material produced.

According to the Environment Agency, ‘About 10% of national energy consumption

is used in the production and transport of construction products and materials’

(2003). This industry emitted 53.21 millions tonnes of CO2 in 2008 (DECC2, 2009).

Much of this energy was used to build residential dwellings of which 223,300 were

completed in 2007 (CLG3, 2009).

There are, however, some materials used in construction, such as timber and straw

bales, that require little or no processing. These materials absorb atmospheric CO 2

as they grow which then becomes incorporated into the structure of the house.

The aim of this essay is to investigate whether the amount of CO2 sequestered within

the natural materials used in the construction of a house can exceed that emitted in

the processing and transport of all the materials. It will calculate the embodied

energy (as CO2) of the author’s house using two methodologies and evaluate where

1
In 2008, UK net emissions of CO2 were provisionally estimated to be 531.8 million tonnes.
2
Department of Energy and Climate Change
3
Communities and Local Government
energy savings could be made and CO2 sequestered. It will compare the author’s

house to a high profile low impact build and also to best practice.
Critical Analysis
Embodied energy (EE)
Embodied energy can be measured as either the Process Energy Requirement

(PER) or Gross Energy Requirement (GER) of a material.

The PER is the energy related to material manufacture, including transporting raw

materials to the factory.

The GER is the PER plus:

• The energy used in the factories making the products.

• The embodied energy of the urban infrastructure (Milne G, 2008).

Investigations in this essay use figures for GER.

The Embodied energy of a UK House

Several studies have been performed which have attempted to calculate the

embodied energy of UK houses. The following studies used kWh as their common

units. Harris, D.J. carried out a case study on 'a typical British house design of the

type produced by a large builder': brick and block with mineral wool insulation and

aluminium window frames. The embodied energy contained in this building was

104,727 kWh4 (1999). Plastics accounted for nearly 45% of the embodied energy,

though the study does not explain why.

Brinkley, M. calculated the embodied energy of a detached brick-and-block house to

be 90,000 kWh (2006). Plastics formed only 12.44% of the embodied energy of the

build.

Asif, M. et al calculated the embodied energy of a Scottish three bedroom semi-

detached to be 59,0935 kWh (2005), with the concrete containing the highest

embodied energy. These studies are summarised in table 1.

4
kilowatt-hours
5
Calculated from 212,719 Megajoules
Table 1. Summary of previous studies into embodied energy of UK houses
showing ten most energy intensive materials in each study. Full details are given in
appendices 1, 2 and 3.
Study: Harris, D.J. Study: Brinkley, Study: Asif, M. et
(1999) M. (2006) al. (2007)
Material EE % Total EE % Total EE % Total
(kWh) EE (kWh) EE (kWh) EE
Concrete 13,800 15.2 36,336 61.5
Concrete tiles 1,800 2.0

Concrete external 800 0.8


works
Plastics 47,000 44.9 11,300 12.4
Bricks 6,348 6.1 27,100 29.8
Ceramic tiles 8,956 15.2
Timber 24,882 23.8 8,334 14.1

Steel 10,300 9.8 6,500 7.2


Cement 8,580 8.2 6,000 6.6
Mineral wool 2,433 2.3
Clay tiles (roof) 2,052 2.0
Aluminium 1,088 1.0 1,631 2.8
Lightweight blocks 5,200 5.7
Goods transport 5,000 5.5
Plasterboard 3,200 3.5 1,500 2.5
Glass 828 0.8 2,700 3.0 1,133 1.9
Mortar 667 1.1
Damp course 525 0.9

Slate 12 0.0
Total 104,727 90,800 59,093
Source: Harris, D.J. (1999), Brinkley, M. (2006) and Asif, M. et al. (2007)

Materials

The three builds varied in the amounts of materials used and the source data for

their embodied energy calculations. However, the studies indicated that minimising

the use of concrete and plastics in a house can reduce the embodied energy.
Carbon sequestration
According to the EPA6, ‘Carbon sequestration is the process through which

agricultural and forestry practices remove CO2 from the atmosphere’ depositing it

into carbon sinks. (2006). There are other carbon sinks too, such as the surface

waters of the oceans and types of rocks (Mackay, J.C.D, 2009).

Carbon cycles between land, ocean and atmosphere over biological and geological

timescales. One could conclude that all carbon sinks are temporary. Carbon

sequestered by trees felled hundreds of years ago has remained in the structure,

and furnishings of medieval timber-frame buildings. If these trees were replaced, the

net result has been a sequestration of atmospheric CO2 into terrestrial carbon. If the

buildings burnt down, of course, they would no longer be carbon sinks.

Embodied energy and carbon sequestration source material.


This essay makes substantial use of the Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE). This

database collates embodied energy (MJ/Kg7) and (what the authors refer to as)

embodied carbon (kg CO2/kg) from an extensive range of sources. Where ranges of

values were listed for materials, this essay used the average.

Investigations in this essay use embodied and sequestered CO2 as a common unit to

enable calculations to be made.

Amato A (1996 cited in Hammond, G et al, 2008) argued against taking sequestered

CO2 from timber into embodied energy calculations, on the grounds that 'a material

is deemed renewable...when a world wide steady state has been achieved between

production and consumption'. He also argued that methane emissions from timber

disposal in landfill at end of life also needs to be addressed. For this reason

Hammond, G et al omitted carbon sequestration calculations from their Inventory of

Carbon and Energy (2008).

6
Environmental Protection Authority (USA)
7
Megajoules per kilogramme
This essay also makes use of embodied CO2 data from the Green Guide to

Specification (the Green Guide).

Anderson, J. et al did include carbon sequestration within the LCA8 ratings they

presented in the Green Guide. The authors rated various building elements (ground

floors, upper floors etc.) against a set of environmental measures, including

embodied CO2 equivalent. The Green Guide specified a sixty year LCA. At the end of

this period it argued that most CO2 would be returned to the environment by landfill

or incineration. In the case of landfill, some of the carbon can remain sequestered

(2009).

Where a material’s density9 could not be ascertained from ICE, the websites

MatWeb.com and SIMetric.co.uk were consulted.

Methodology 1: Bill of quantities (BOQ) and embodied energy (EE)


construction audit.
A BOQ contains, amongst other items, a list of all the materials required to construct

a building (BusinessDictionary.com, 2009).

8
Life cycle assessment
9
Needed to convert from dimensions to weight
BOQ and EE construction audit for 32 Wentworth Close.
Figure 1. 32 Wentworth Close

A retrospective BOQ was created for the Author’s house: 32 Wentworth Close. This

is a brick-and-block, detached house built in 1975 with retrofitted, energy-efficiency

features, such as double-glazing, cavity-wall insulation and loft insulation. The

examination of embodied energy involved taking extensive measurements of the

house and referring to building manuals to estimate quantities of non-visible items.

The house was examined ‘as is’ rather than ‘as built’. Data from ICE and the Green

Guide were used to estimate the embodied energy.

The amount of CO2 sequestered in the timber of the house was estimated by

assuming that timber is 50% carbon10, and that the CO2 was sequestered indefinitely.

The full document is attached as appendix 4. The materials in this document were

then grouped in appendix 5, further summarised in table 2 and represented

graphically in figure 2.

10
The amount of carbon was multiplied by 3.667 to convert to CO 2.
Table 2. Wentworth Close materials grouped.
Material Tonnes kWhs Tonnes CO2 Tonnes CO2 CO2 Balance
material embodied Sequestered (Tonnes)
Concrete 59.7 15,767 7.8 0.0 0.0
Brick 31.7 26,420 7.0 0.0 0.0
Hardcore 83.7 9,300 4.7 0.0 0.0
PVC-U Windows 0.0 23,647 4.3 0.0 0.0
Steel 1.3 11,743 3.1 0.0 0.0
Cement 2.6 3,301 2.1 0.0 0.0
Lightweight 23.2 4,316 1.7 0.0 0.0
concrete block
Wood 2.9 6,512 1.4 5.3 -5.3
Plaster/render 6.9 5,951 1.3 0.0 0.0
Other materials 18.7 5,853 1.3 0.0 0.0
U-PVC/Plastic 0.5 10,737 1.1 0.0 0.0
Total 231.2 123,547 35.7 5.3 30.4
Source: Anderson, J. et al. (2009), Automation Creations, Inc. (2009), Hammond, G. et
al. (2008), and Walker, R. (2009).
Figure 2 – CO2 embodied and sequestered in Wentworth Close
10.0 Tonnes embodied CO2 Wentworth Close: Total = 35.7 tonnes
Tonnes sequestered CO2 Wentworth Close: Total = 5.3 tonnes
8.0
6.0
Tonnes CO2

4.0
2.0
0.0
-2.0
-4.0
-6.0

Lightweight concrete block


PVC-U Windows

Plaster/render

U-PVC/Plastic
Other materials
Cement
Concrete

Steel
Brick

Wood
Hardcore

Material
Source: Anderson, J. et al. (2009), Automation Creations, Inc. (2009), Hammond, G. et
al. (2008), and Walker, R. (2009).
BOQ and EE construction audit for Ben Law’s house.
Figure 3. Ben Law’s woodland house

Source: London Permaculture (2009)


An oft-cited example of a low impact house is that built by the woodsman Ben Law

as seen on the television programme Grand Designs.

A BOQ was created for Ben Law’s house from information provided in his book The

Woodland Year. The embodied energy and sequestered carbon11 were calculated as

for 32 Wentworth Close.

The full document is attached as appendix 6. The materials in this document were

grouped in appendix 7, further summarised in table 3 and represented graphically in

figure 3.

11
The carbon content of wheat straw was estimated to be 34%.
Table 3. Ben Law’s house materials grouped.
Material Tonnes kWh Tonnes CO2 Tonnes CO2 CO2
Material Total embodied sequestered balance
Lime putty 10.0 14,723 7.4 0.0 7.4
Sandstone rubble 8.3 13,409 3.3 0.0 3.3
Copper 0.7 3,980 2.7 0.0 2.7
PVC-U 0.2 2,248 0.4 0.0 0.4
Velux Windows 0.0 2,295 0.4 0.0 0.4
Glass 0.2 994 0.2 0.0 0.2
Particle board 0.4 947 0.2 0.7 -0.5
Sharp sand 30.0 833 0.2 0.0 0.2
Membrane 0.1 1,209 0.1 0.0 0.1
Steel 0.0 283 0.1 0.0 0.1
Other Materials 0.1 116 0.0 0.1 -0.1
Oak 1.7 0 0.0 3.1 -3.1
Barley straw bales 6.2 0 0.0 7.7 -7.7
Larch 4.5 0 0.0 8.3 -8.3
Sweet Chestnut 6.7 0 0.0 12.3 -12.3
Total 69.1 41,037 15.0 32.2 -17.2
Source: Automation Creations, Inc. (2009), Hammond, G. et al. (2008), Law, B
(2005), Walker, R. (2009) and Hammond, G. et al. (2008).
Figure 3. CO2 embodied and sequestered in Ben Law’s House

10.0
Tonnes embodied CO2 Ben Law's house: Total = 15 tonnes
Tonnes sequestered CO2 Ben Law's house: Total = 32.2 tonnes

5.0

0.0
Tonnes CO2

-5.0

-10.0

-15.0
Membrane
PVC-U

Other Materials

Oak
Glass

Larch
Lime putty

Steel
Particle board

Sharp sand
Velux Windows

Barley straw bales


Sandstone rubble

Copper

Sweet Chestnut

Material

Source: Automation Creations, Inc. (2009), Hammond, G. et al. (2008), Law, B (2005),
Walker, R. (2009) and Hammond, G. et al. (2008).

32 Wentworth Close and Ben Law’s house contained115 and 113 m2 of floor space

respectively. 32 Wentworth close is a net source of 30.4 tonnes of CO2, Ben Law’s

house is a net sink of 17.2 tonnes.


Methodology 2: The Green Guide embodied CO2 audit of 32 Wentworth
Close
This methodology uses only overall measurements of various sections of 32

Wentworth Close, such as the dimensions of external walls and ground floors in M2.

Estimations of the embodied carbon were then made by reference to tables in the

Green Guide.

As is.
The embodied CO2 of 32 Wentworth Close was calculated to be 28.9 tonnes, very

close to the 30.4 tonnes calculated for the house using methodology 1. This lower

figure is probably due to the fact that methodology 2 did not include fittings such as

the kitchen, pipe work or the electrical wiring in the house.

Reducing the embodied energy


Best practice using only new materials.
Using the Green Guide tables, the embodied CO2 of 32 Wentworth Close was

calculated, as if the house had have been built to best practice for embodied energy,

using, but without using recycled materials. Built like this 32 Wentworth Close would

contain only 0.87 tonnes of embodied CO2.

Best practice using some recycled materials.


Recycled materials are in limited supply, but are cited in the Green Guide tables.

The embodied CO2 in 32 Wentworth Close was calculated, as if the house had been

built to best practice for embodied energy, using recycled materials wherever

possible.

Built like this, 32 Wentworth Close would have been carbon negative, sequestering

1.6 tonnes of CO2.


Full details comparing the carbon balance of these three specifications are

presented in appendix 8, summarised in table 4, and represented graphically in

figure 4.
Table 4. Embodied Energy (EE) of
House section 32 Wentworth Close 'As is' Embodied As if built to best practice Embodied As if built to best Embodied
CO2 eq12 standards for EE using CO2 eq practice standards CO2 eq
(Tonnes) new materials only (Tonnes) for EE including (Tonnes)
reclaimed materials
External walls Brick of stone and blockwork 9.28 Cladding on timber-framed -0.40 As best practice. -0.40
cavity walls. Brickwork outer leaf, construction. Pre-treated
insulation, dense solid blockwork softwood weatherboarding,
inner leaf: cement mortar, plaster, breather membrane: OSB/3
paint. sheathing, timber frame with
insulation, vapour control
layer, plasterboard on timber
battens, paint.
Ground floors Solid concrete floor. Screed on 6.77 Suspended timber ground 0.00 As best practice, but -0.12
insulation laid on: in situ concrete floors. Tongue and groove with reclaimed
on polyethylene dpm laid on softwood boards on timber floorboards.
blinded virgin aggregate sub- joists with insulation over: 50
base. mm fine aggregate on
polyethylene dpm laid on
sand blinding.

Windows and PVC-U window with steel 5.63 Durable hardwood window: 2.54 As best practice. 2.54
curtain walling reinforcement, double-glazed. Double-glazed, water based
stain. (Timber Window
Accreditation Scheme).
Landscaping Reinforced concrete laid in situ 3.16 Cement mortar wet laid UK 1.75 As best practice, but 0.75
(lightly trafficked (100 mm): over prepared sub- sandstone setts (50mm): with reclaimed pavers
areas). base. over prepared recycled sub-
base.

12
Equivalent
Internal walls Masonary partition. Aircrete 2.65 Timber studwork: plywood -0.55 As best practice. -0.55
blockwork: plaster, paint. (softwood) unpainted

Table 4 continued
House section 32 Wentworth Close 'As is' Embodied As if built to best practice Embodied As if built to best Embodied
CO2 eq13 standards for EE using CO2 eq practice standards CO2 eq
(Tonnes) new materials only (Tonnes) for EE including (Tonnes)
reclaimed materials
Roofs Pitched Roofs: timber trussed 0.94 Pitched Roofs: timber 0.11 As best practice, but 0.03
rafters and joists with insulation: construction. Structurally with reclaimed clay
roofing underlay, counterbattens, insulated timber panel tiles
battens and concrete interlocking system with OSB/3 each
tiles. side: roofing underlay,
counterbattens, battens and
photovoltaic roofing tiles.

Landscaping Concrete paving flags (35mm). 0.49 Concrete paving flags 0.49 As best practice, but -0.19
(pedestrian areas). No sub base * Reclaimed clay (35mm). with reclaimed clay
pavers = -8.7 pavers

Insulation Cavity blown glass wool 0.17 Strawboard thermal -2.62 As best practice. -2.62
insulation: density 17 kg/m3 insulation.

Landscaping Hedging* embodied carbon as 0.00 Pre-treated timber: Post and -0.03 Reclaimed fencing. -0.10
(Boundary zero. panel fencing.
protection).

13
Equivalent
Upper floors Upper floors. Tongue and groove -0.43 Upper floors. Tongue and -0.43 As best practice, but -0.96
floorboards on: timber joists * groove floorboards on: timber with reclaimed
reclaimed floorboards on timber joists * reclaimed floorboards floorboards.
joists… = -18 on timber joists… = -18

Total 28.68 Total 0.87 Total -1.60


Figure 4. Tonnes embodied CO2 in Wentworth Close ‘as is’ and if Green Guide best
practice for EE had been implemented.
10 Case study house. Total 28.68 tonnes

8 Best practice - new materials only. Total 0.87 tonnes


Best practice - some reclaimed materials. Total -1.6 tonnes
6
Tonnes of CO2

-2

-4
Landscaping (lightly trafficked areas).

Insulation

Landscaping (Boundary protection).


Ground floors

Internal walls
External walls

Upper floors
Landscaping (pedestrian areas).
Roofs
Windows and curtain walling

Source: Anderson, J. et al. (2009)

Straw bale building


The Green Guide advocated the use of strawboard in external walls to reduce

embodied energy and Ben Law’s house made extensive use straw bales for

insulation.

Straw is an abundant, renewable material. There are four million tonnes of excess

straw produced a year in the UK, enough to build 450,000 houses of 150m2 a year.

(Jones B, 2008): twice the number of houses constructed in 2007. Wheat straw
bales are approximately 34%14 carbon (Powlson, D.S. et al) and, if used as a building

material, sequesters CO2.

Building walls can be load bearing or non-load-bearing. The latter use straw bales

within a timber frame, and Tom Woolley suggests are more acceptable to the public

(2006). An innovative design, the ModCell™ Balehaus™, has been produced by

architecture practice White Design.

ModCell™ Balehaus™

Figure 5. ModCell™ Balehaus™ at Grand Designs Live 2009

Source: ModCell™ (2009)


The ModCell™ system uses prefabricated straw bale panels, ‘made in a local Flying

Factory15™’, to create their Balehaus™ (2009). A frame of sustainably sourced

timber is in-filled with straw from locally sourced bales to form a ModCell™ panel.

These panels can be load-bearing or non-load bearing. In the former case they can

14
40% carbon by dry matter, equating to 34% carbon for typical bales of 15% moisture content
15
Temporary structures built 5-25 miles from the house construction site.
be stacked 9m high. In the latter they are used as cladding panels within a timber-

framed building. In both cases the panel walls are plastered with lime render.

The company suggests that the carbon stored in the house exceeds that emitted

‘during manufacture, supply and installation of the building fabric, structure, fixtures,

fittings decoration mechanical and electrical equipment,’ by 6 tonnes16.

Source data was not available.

16
The text on the Modcell website actually says ‘This process “banks” the equivalent of 42 tonnes of
CO2 per house to deliver a less than Zero Carbon Home before any one moves in. Even allowing for
the ca 20 tonnes of CO2 emitted during manufacture, supply and installation of the building fabric,
structure, fixtures, fittings decoration mechanical and electrical equipment, this still leaves 22 tonnes of
carbon in the “bank”’. However the final figure should be 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide not carbon. 22
tonnes of CO2 is equivalent to 6 (22/3.67) tonnes of carbon. Verified via e-mail, appendix 9.
Comparison
The CO2 balance of 32 Wentworth Close17, Ben Law’s house and the ModCell™

Balehaus™ are summarised below.

Figure 6. CO2 balance for 32 Wentworth Close, Ben Law’s house and the Modcell
house

CO2 balances (tonnes) for case study house, Ben Law's


house and Modcell house

40.0 35.7
30.4
30.0
20.0
20.0 15.0

10.0
Tonnes of CO2

0.0

-10.0 -5.3

-20.0 -17.2
Embodied CO2 -22.0
-30.0
Sequestered CO2 -32.2
-40.0 CO2 Balance
-42.0
-50.0
32 Wentworth Close Ben Law's house Modcell house

Source: Law, B. (2005), Modcell, (2009), Hammond, G. et al. (2008) and Anderson,
J. et al. (2009)

17
Calculated using methodology 1: Bill of quantities (BOQ) and embodied energy (EE) construction
audit.
Conclusion
Summary of case the made
If material is selected from renewable sources, and CO2 assumed to be sequestered

permanently, it is possible to construct carbon negative buildings in the UK. If 32

Wentworth Close had been built to Green Guide best practice standards 2009, using

some recycled materials, it would have been carbon negative.

Ben Law’s house is carbon negative, but not designed for mass production.

The wide scale adoption of straw bales as infill for timber-frame builds and reducing

the use of plastics, concrete and brick greatly reduces the embodied energy. The

ModCell™ Balehaus™ showed great potential. Based on company data, the house

is substantially carbon negative.

Existing Orthodoxy
Most housing energy studies concentrate on operational energy not embodied

energy. As operational energy efficiency of houses increases, the embodied energy

contributes a greater proportion to the overall lifetime CO2 emissions. The

refurbishment of existing buildings is often championed over new builds. However if

new builds are carbon negative, it may be better to replace some of the current

housing stock where it is difficult to lower the operational energy: e.g. if the houses

are not oriented to make best use of passive solar power.

Limitations of the essay


This essay was concerned with the embodied energy balance only, rather than full

Life Cycle Analysis or operational energy of houses.

It investigated single-family-unit residential dwellings, not business or multi-family

dwellings.

The essay did not consider changes in the carbon balance due to land use change.

Building on arable land may cause different changes in soil carbon to building on

pastureland or brown field sites.


The re-carbonation of lime over its lifetime was not included in the calculations, and

timber was assumed to be from renewable sources.

Further research
A full life cycle assessment of a ModCell™ Balehaus™ based on the BOQ method

employed for 32 Wentworth Close and Ben Law’s house would enable a more

accurate comparison of embodied energy.

Further work could investigate the scope for producing those materials that cannot

be ‘grown’, such as glass and metal, using renewable technologies. Investigations

into the production of plastics, used for items such as damp proof courses, from

biological sources should be investigated

Investigations into how the re-carbonation of lime affects CO 2 balances should be

performed.

The suitability of car tyre foundations in domestic buildings, and other ways to reduce

the use of concrete should be investigated.


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Word Count –
Appendices
Appendix 1. Environmental profile for a typical brick-and-block house as
quantified by D. J. Harris.
Material Quantity M3 Embodied Percentage Total
energy kWh
Plastics 1 47,000 44.88
Timber imported softwood 3.3 24,882 23.76
Steel 0.1 10,300 9.84
Cement 3 8,580 8.19
Brick (Fletton) 21.16 6,348 6.06
Mineral wool 10.58 2,433 2.32
Clay tiles (roof) 1.35 2,052 1.96
Aluminium (window frames) 0.0144 1,088 1.04
Glass 0.036 828 0.79
Concrete external works 1 800 0.76
Copper 0.002 266 0.25
Crushed granite external 1 150 0.14
works
Total 104,727 100
Source: Harris, D.J. (1999)
Appendix 2. The Housebuilder’s Bible Benchmark House Construction
Audit.
Material Energy / Material Weight Energy C02 Percentage
tonne quantity (tonnes) used released embodied
(kWh) (kWh) (tonnes) energy
Bricks 800 11,280 33.84 27,100 5.1 29.8
Concrete 300 20 m3 46 13,800 2.6 15.2
Plastic / u- 45,000 0.25 tonnes 0.25 11,300 2.1 12.4
PVC
Steel 13,000 0.5 tonnes 0.5 6,500 1.1 7.2
Cement 1,500 4 tonnes 4 6,000 1.1 6.6
Lightweight 300 172 m2 17.2 5,200 0.9 5.7
blocks
Goods 5,000 0.9 5.5
transport
Plasterboard 800 395 m2 4 3,200 0.6 3.5
Glass 9,000 30 m2 0.3 2,700 0.5 3.0
Other 10,000 0.2 2,000 0.3 2.2
materials
Concrete 300 112 m2 6 1,800 0.3 2.0
tiles
Hardcore 30 60 tonnes 60 1,800 0.3 2.0
and gravel
Timber 1,500 0.2 1.7
transport
Sanitaryware 5,000 0.2 tonnes 0.2 1,000 0.1 1.1
Concrete 300 20 m2 3 900 0.1 1.0
paving
Sand 30 18 tonnes 18 500 0.1 0.6
Chipboard / 300 2 m3 1 300 0.1 0.3
plywood
Timber 100 3 m3 2 200 0 0.2
0
Total 90,800 16.4 100
Source: Brinkley, M. (2006)

Appendix 3. Embodied energy in a case study dwelling in Scotland.


Material Quantity Embodied Embodied C02 released Percentage
(kg) energy (MJ) energy (kWh) (tonnes) embodied
energy
Concrete 130,800 130,800 36,336 664.1 61.49
Ceramic tiles 4,030 32,240 8,956 605,454 15.16
Timber 5,725 30,000 8,334 178.4 14.10
Aluminium 25.3 5,870 1,631 48.1 2.76
Plaster 1,080 5,400 1,500 3.5 2.54
board
Glass 313.6 4,077 1,133 2,301 1.92
Mortar 2,400 2,400 667 286.2 1.13
Damp 28.3 1,889 525 25.4 0.89
course
Slate 432 43.2 12 9,600 0.02
Total 212,719 59,093 618,561 100
Source: Asif, M. et al. (2007)
Appendix 4. Bill of quantities and carbon balance for 32 Wentworth Close.
Appendix 5. CO2 balance of materials contained in 32 Wentworth Close.
Material Tonnes kWhs Tonnes Tonnes CO2 CO2
material CO2 sequestered Balance
embodied
Concrete 59.6 15,733 7.7 0.0 7.7
Brick 31.7 26,420 7.0 0.0 7.0
Hardcore 83.7 9,300 4.7 0.0 4.7
PVC-U window with 0.0 23,647 4.3 0.0 4.3
steel reinforcement,
double glazed.
Cement 2.6 3,301 2.1 0.0 2.1
Galvanised steel 0.7 7,135 1.9 0.0 1.9
Lightweight 23.2 4,316 1.7 0.0 1.7
concrete block
PVC-U 0.4 8,375 0.9 0.0 0.9
Plasterboard 1.8 3,290 0.7 0.0 0.7
Render and plaster 4.8 2,411 0.6 0.0 0.6
Steel 0.7 4,458 1.2 0.0 1.2
Softwood 1.1 2,259 0.5 2.0 -1.5
Ceramic 0.3 1,794 0.4 0.0 0.4
Sawn softwood 0.7 1,360 0.3 1.2 -0.9
mineral wool 0.2 1,055 0.3 0.0 0.3
Wood 0.5 1,101 0.2 1.0 -0.7
Copper 0.1 1,085 0.2 0.0 0.2
Plywood 0.4 1,135 0.2 0.7 -0.4
Polypropylene 0.1 1,437 0.1 0.0 0.1
Chipboard 0.2 638 0.1 0.4 -0.3
Clay 0.2 339 0.1 0.0 0.1
Polyethylene 0.0 926 0.1 0.0 0.1
Builders sand 12.1 335 0.1 0.0 0.1
Stainless steel 0.0 149 0.1 0.0 0.1
Cast iron 0.0 137 0.0 0.0 0.0
Plaster (skim) 0.3 148 0.0 0.0 0.0
Sand 5.7 157 0.0 0.0 0.0
Lead 0.0 111 0.0 0.0 0.0

Appendix 5 continued. CO2 balance of materials contained in 32


Wentworth Close.

Material Tonnes kWhs Tonnes Tonnes CO2 CO2


material CO2 sequestered Balance
embodied
Concrete 0.1 35 0.0 0.0 0.0
(granolithic)
Hardwood 0.0 18 0.0 0.0 0.0
Moulded plaster 0.0 8 0.0 0.0 0.0
Tiling grout 0.0 94 0.0 0.0 0.0
Fibreglass 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Rockwool 0.2 839 0.2 0.0 0.2
Total 123,547 35.7 5.3 30.4
Appendix 6. Bill of quantities and carbon balance for Ben Law's house.
Appendix 7. CO2 balance of materials contained in Ben Law’s house.
Tonnes kWh Tonnes Tonnes CO2 CO2

Material Total CO2 sequestered balance

embodied
Ash 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Barley straw bales 6.2 0 0.0 7.7 -7.7
Beeswax and linseed oil 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Cheridised steel 0.0 43 0.0 0.0 0.0
chicken wire 0.0 15 0.0 0.0 0.0
0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Clay 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Clay, sand and straw 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Copper 0.6 10,910 2.2 0.0 2.2
Copper (with polycarbonate 0.0 890 0.2 0.0 0.2

coating)
Copper sheeting 0.1 1,608 0.3 0.0 0.3
Cow and horse hair 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Fibreboard 0.0 81 0.0 0.0 0.0
Firebricks 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
foam 0.0 21 0.0 0.0 0.0
Galvanised steel 0.0 1 0.0 0.0 0.0
Glass 0.2 994 0.2 0.0 0.2
Glass wool and PIR foam 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Klober Permaforte 0.1 1,209 0.1 0.0 0.1
Larch 4.5 0 0.0 8.3 -8.3
Lime putty 10.0 14,723 7.4 0.0 7.4
Lime wash and natural 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0

pigments
Membrane 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Oak 1.7 0 0.0 3.1 -3.1
Particle board 0.4 947 0.2 0.7 -0.5
Pre-cast clay 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
PVC-U 0.2 3,980 0.4 0.0 0.4
Sandstone rubble 8.3 2,295 3.3 0.0 3.3
Sharp sand 30.0 833 0.2 0.0 0.2
Solder (lead) 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Stainless steel 0.0 162 0.1 0.0 0.1
Steel 0.0 78 0.0 0.0 0.0
Sweet Chestnut 6.7 0 0.0 12.3 -12.3
Velux Windows 0.0 2,248 0.4 0.0 0.4
Warmcell (Fireproofed 0.1 0 0.0 0.0 0.0

recycled paper)
York Stone Slab 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 69.1 41,037 15.0 32.2 -17.2
Appendix 8. The Green Guide to Specification CO2 balance for 32
Wentworth Close compared to best practice.