Dynamic assessment of construction materials in urban building stocks – A critical review

There is a lack of understanding on the different types of dynamics of building stocks, in real life and in models. Moreover, there is now a particular interest in the embodied impacts of construction materials, since with the increasing efficiency of buildings operation, embodied impacts gain more importance in the overall building life cycle. This critical review wants to advance the understanding on the type of dynamics, methods and tools used. The well-known IPAT equation is adapted for building stocks and three dynamics are defined: spatial, evolutionary temporal and spatial-cohort dynamic. A framework is defined that can help researchers choose a method, tool and dynamics of input parameters depending on their research goal, case study and data. Moreover, generally valid conclusions are drawn, including: MFA is useful to model spatially dynamic material flows; GIS is needed to include spatial dynamics. Retrofit, compared to construction and demolition, is understudied and usually analyzed through top-down methods. Material Intensity and Emission Intensity are rarely modeled in a dynamic way. Overall, scholars seem to perform each time more data intensive and complex studies tailored to a specific case study. However, there are big differences in the quality depending on the dynamic of input parameters.

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Zurich