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Trade-Off Optimization of Embodied Versus Operational Carbon Impact for Insulation and Window to Wall Ratio Design Choices: A Case Study

Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST,volume 131)


Evaluation of carbon impacts during building design has for too long unilaterally focused on the operational carbon impacts through the application of Energy Efficiency Measures (EEMs), e.g. enhancing the thermal resistance of the building envelope by using additional insulations, Window to Wall Ratio (WWR) etc. Research indicates that there is a need to also include the embodied carbon impacts and optimizing the trade-off between embodied and operational carbon impacts. Multi-objective optimization approaches can be a solution for handling this trade-off. Therefore, a previously developed BIM-based multi-objective optimization approach has been extended to also cover the impact of the carbon footprint. The extended optimization approach was then tested in a case study of a multifamily residential building located in Stockholm to find the optimal design solutions of the embodied versus operational carbon impact trade-off. The results of the case study demonstrate the applicability of the extended approach in handling the trade-off problem and aiding in more environmentally friendly decisions during the design process.


  • Embodied carbon impact
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Life cycle carbon impact
  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Operational carbon impact
  • Trade-off

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This study was part of E2B2- and BIOSIO projects and the authors would like to thank the projects’ funders Swedish energy agency, Formas and VINNOVA (Sweden’s innovation agency).

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Correspondence to Farshid Shadram .

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Shadram, F., Mukkavaara, J., Schade, J., Sandberg, M., Olofsson, T. (2019). Trade-Off Optimization of Embodied Versus Operational Carbon Impact for Insulation and Window to Wall Ratio Design Choices: A Case Study. In: Kaparaju, P., Howlett, R., Littlewood, J., Ekanyake, C., Vlacic, L. (eds) Sustainability in Energy and Buildings 2018. KES-SEB 2018. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, vol 131. Springer, Cham.

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