Environmental Impacts of Building Technologies: A Comparative Study in Kutch District, Gujarat State, India

  • Daniel Pittet
  • K. S. Jagadish
  • Tejas Kotak
  • Kiran Vaghela
  • Pratik Zaveri
  • Humaira Sareshwala
  • Jayesh Gohel
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter is based on the findings of a research project co-financed by the Rector’s Conference of the Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences (KFH) and carried out in 2008–2009 in collaboration between the World Habitat Research Centre, University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), Lugano, the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University (CEPT), Faculty of Architecture in Ahmadabad, India, and Hunnarshala Foundation for Building Technology and Innovations in Bhuj, Gujarat, India. The project aims at filling a gap in the assessment of environmental impacts of building technologies in India. Previous research on global sustainability of post-disaster reconstruction have indeed clearly identified the lack of scientific data on such impacts in this country (Ding 2008; Duyne Barenstein and Pittet 2007; Gumaste 2006; Jönsson 2000). The lack of data hinders agencies and professionals from making informed choices of materials and technologies aiming at reducing environmental impacts of construction. Based on these considerations, the project’s specific objectives were (a) to design and test a methodology for assessing the environmental impacts of building materials in a specific context, (b) to provide data on environmental impacts of building technologies in Kutch District, (c) to provide and disseminate knowledge for increasing the sustainability of housing projects, and (d) to exchange and transfer knowledge and research capacity on environmental impacts of building materials assessment.

References

  1. Asif, M., et al. (2007). Life cycle assessment: A case study of a dwelling home in Scotland. Building and Environment, 42(3), 1391–1394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boerjesson, P., & Gustavsson, L. (2000). Greenhouse gas balances in building construction: Wood versus concrete from life-cycle and forest land-use perspectives. Energy Policy, 28(9), 575–588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Buchanan, A., & Honey, B. (1994). Energy and carbon dioxide implications of building construction. Energy and Buildings, 20(3), 205–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chani, P. S., et al. (2003). Comparative analysis of embodied energy rates for walling elements in India. Architectural Engineering, 84, 47–50.Google Scholar
  5. Citherlet, S., & Defaux, T. (2007). Energy and environmental comparison of three variants of a family house during its whole life span. Building and Environment, 42(2), 591–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cole, R. J. (1999). Energy and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the construction of alternative structural systems. Building and Environment, 34(3), 335–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Debnath, A., et al. (1995). Comparative assessment of energy requirements for different types of residential buildings in India. Energy and Building, 23(2), 141–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dimoudi, A., & Tompa, C. (2008). Energy and environmental indicators related to construction of office buildings. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 53(1–2), 86–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ding, G. K. (2008). Sustainable construction – The role of environmental assessment tools. Journal of Environmental Management, 86(3), 451–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Duyne Barenstein, J., & Pittet, D. (2007). Post-disaster housing reconstruction: Current trends and sustainable alternatives for tsunami-affected communities in coastal Tamil Nadu. EPFL/Ingénieurs du Monde Point Sud, 26, 5–8.Google Scholar
  11. Ecoinvent. (2008). The Ecoinvent database. Retrieved from www.ecoinvent.org. Accessed October 2, 2008.
  12. Emmanuel, R. (2004). Estimating the environmental suitability of wall materials: Preliminary results from Sri Lanka. Building and Environment, 39(10), 1253–1261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. González, M. J., & Navarro, J. (2006). Assessment of the decrease of CO2 emissions in the construction field through the selection of materials: Practical case study of three houses of low environmental impact. Building and Environment, 41(7), 902–909.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gumaste, K. (2006, December 4–5). Embodied energy computations in buildings. Advances in energy research. National Conference on Advances in Energy Research, Bombay, India.Google Scholar
  15. Gustavsson, L., & Sathre, R. (2006). Variability in energy and carbon dioxide balances of wood and concrete materials. Building and Environment, 41(7), 940–951.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harris, J. D. (1999). A quantitative approach to the assessment of the environmental impact of building materials. Building and Environment, 34(6), 751–758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huberman, N., & Pearlmutter, D. (2008). A life-cycle energy analysis of building materials in the Negev desert. Energy and Buildings, 40(5), 837–848.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huijbregts, M. A. J., et al. (2006). Is cumulative fossil energy demand a useful indicator for the environmental performance of products? Environmental Science & Technology, 40(3), 641–648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Huijbregts, M. A. J., et al. (2008). Ecological footprinting accounting in the life cycle assessment of products. Ecological Economics, 64(4), 798–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC]. (n.d.). Task force on national greenhouse gas inventories. Tratto il giorno 2008 da IPCC. http://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/EFDB/find_ef_main.php. Accessed September 10, 2008.
  21. International Organization for Standardization [ISO]. (2006). ISO 14044 environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and framework. Geneva: ISO.Google Scholar
  22. International Organization for Standardization [ISO]. (2008). ISO 14040 environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles framework. Geneva: ISO.Google Scholar
  23. Jagadish, K. S. (1979). Energy and Rural Buildings in India. Energy and Buildings, 2 (1979) 287–296.Google Scholar
  24. Jönsson, A. (2000). Tools and methods for environmental assessment of building products – Methodological analysis of six selected approaches. Building and Environment, 35(3), 223–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Morel, J. C., et al. (2001). Building houses with local materials: Means to drastically reduce the environmental impact of construction. Building and Environment, 36(10), 1119–1126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pearlmutter, D., et al. (2007). Alternative materials for desert buildings: A comparative life cycle energy analysis. Building Research & Information, 32(2), 144–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sarkar, S. (1988). Fuels and combustion. Hyderabad: Orient Longman.Google Scholar
  28. Shukla, A., et al. (2008). Embodied energy analysis of adobe house. Renewable Energy, 34(3), 755–761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Stern, N., et al. (2006). Stern review: The economics of climate change. London: HM Treasury.Google Scholar
  30. Svensson, N., et al. (2006). Environmental relevance and use of energy indicators in environmental management and research. Journal of Cleaner Production, 14(2), 134–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. The Energy and Resource Institute [TERI]. (n.d.). TEDDY: Teri energy data directory and handbook. New Delhi/Bangalore: The Energy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  32. Venkatarama, B. V., & Jagadish, K. S. (2003). Embodied energy of common and alternative building materials and technologies. Energy and Buildings, 35(2), 129–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln Project [VSBK]. (2008). Database of embodied energy in building raw materials. Kathmandu, Nepal.Google Scholar
  34. Yasantha Abeysundra, U. G., et al. (2007). Environmental, economic and social analysis of materials for doors and windows in Sri Lanka. Building and Environment, 42(5), 2141–2149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Paris 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Pittet
    • 1
  • K. S. Jagadish
    • 2
  • Tejas Kotak
    • 3
  • Kiran Vaghela
    • 3
  • Pratik Zaveri
    • 3
  • Humaira Sareshwala
    • 4
  • Jayesh Gohel
    • 4
  1. 1.World Habitat Research CentreUniversity of Applied Sciences of Southern SwitzerlandCanobbioSwitzerland
  2. 2.Indian Institute of Science (IISc)BangaloreIndia
  3. 3.Hunnarshala FoundationBhujIndia
  4. 4.Center for Environmental Planning and Technology UniversityAhmadabadIndia

Personalised recommendations