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A Net Zero Emission Concept Analysis of Norwegian Single Family House - A CO2 Accounting Method


In order to reach the goal of a zero emission building (ZEB), CO2 emission data has to be made
available and verified for traditional building materials, new ‘state -of-the-art’ building materials
and the active elements used to produce renewable energy. However, an initial literature review
found that although there are databases of embodied carbon values for most building materials,
the range in results for some materials are varied and inconsistent [1].
This paper follows on from previous work [1] on the development of a transparent and robust
method to calculate CO2eq emissions of the materials used in the concept analysis of the ZEB
residential model, single family house [2]. The aim of the concept analysis was to investigate if it
was possible to achieve an "all-electric" ZEB-building by balancing operational and embodied
emissions by PV-production on the building. The analysis has not considered minimising the
embodied emissions but is rather a documentation of the embodied carbon dioxide emissions
using traditional materials in the envelope and in the ventilation and heating systems, as well as,
those associated with the renewable energy system, such as the photovoltaic panels and solar
thermal collectors. Material inventories have been imported from the Revit BIM model [3], via
MS Excel. The material inputs are structured according to the Norwegian table of building
elements, NS 3451-2009 [4] and emission factors (kgCO
2eq per functional unit) for the
calculations are sourced from SIMAPRO/ Ecoinvent version 2.2 [5][6].
The goal of these calculations is to estimate, and thus provide an overview of the materials and
components in the ZEB residential model, which contribute the most to the embodied carbon
dioxide emissions. The calculations are based on the principles of environmental assessment
through life cycle analysis. It should be noted that in this first round of calculations, not all life
cycle phases are included. In the next stage of the calculations, the model will be optimised and
the impact on emissions recalculated accordingly.

Keywords: Net ZEB, Residential Concept Model, BIM, LCA, CO2eqEmissions Calculation


Academic chapter/article/Conference paper




  • Aoife Anne Marie Houlihan Wiberg
  • Tor Helge Dokka
  • Sofie Elisabet Mellegård
  • Laurent Georges
  • Matthias Haase
  • Berit Time
  • Anne G Lien


  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Community / Architectural Engineering
  • SINTEF Community / Architecture, Materials and Structures




Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)


Proceedings of CISBAT 2013 International Conference - Clean Technology for Smart Cities and Buildings - From Nano to Urban Scale



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