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A visio-spatial life cycle energy model of building materials within a bioregional context. ‘Mapping the embodied energy of fired clay bricks in Cuitzeo, Mexico’

Eufrasio Espinosa, Rafael Mauricio (2015) A visio-spatial life cycle energy model of building materials within a bioregional context. ‘Mapping the embodied energy of fired clay bricks in Cuitzeo, Mexico’. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract: Despite the general acceptance of Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) to tackle environmental problems associated with the built environment, the literature shows that this complex assessment system presents limitations as a communication tool for decision-making process given that results are difficult to interpret. By trying to reduce the complexity of following multiple variables in LCA, a simplified and more straightforward process emerged to account for only energy using, Life cycle Energy Analysis (LCEA). However, LCEA has also inherited problems associated with LCA. Thus, discrepancies in calculation procedures, the lack of geographical considerations and ecological attitude and assumptions are criticized in both approaches. In this thesis, a Visio-Spatial Life Cycle Energy Model based on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) was developed in order to bridge the gap of LCEA as a communication tool by displaying embodied energy intensities in thematic maps taking into consideration bioregional principles in its analysis. A new dynamic Input-Output model, which efficiently simplifies the extraction process of energy paths from IO tables enabled the integration of hybrid energy coefficients to account for economic establishments dedicated to produce goods and services in the construction sector as illustrated in a bioregional case study area in Mexico. The full capability of the Visio-spatial energy model was then applied to a specific study of fired clay brick production within the bioregion. The results obtained by process analysis methods (PA) had a variation of 33.6% with respect to IO procedures, which can be considered acceptable in hybrid methods. Embodied energy figures expressed in thematic maps helped to reduce geographical assumptions and expand the sense of place in LCEA by visualizing patterns in manufacturing processes within the case study area.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Architecture (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.694130
Depositing User: Rafael Mauricio Eufrasio Espinosa
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2016 14:58
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 13:19
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13164

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