- Client: Tuhoe (Jasmax)
- Type: Infrastructure/Commercial/Residential
- Location: Tūhoe, Tāneatua, New Zealand
- Date: August 2016
- LCA authored by Tom Beckerling and certified by Henrique Mendonca from Cerclos
A life cycle assessment has been conducted on the Te Kura Whare to quantify the embodied carbon in the building and external works through its whole life cycle. Operational energy and water use is excluded. The total impact is made up of many life cycle stages, such as the Materials and Construction stage and others.
The carbon footprint was conducted according to the Living Building Challenge requirements to inform the project team the amount of carbon emissions to be offset.
A significant result is that the impact of refurbishment is 60% of the total. This is due mainly to the assumption that the Solar PV system will be replaced every 25 years for the assumed 100 life of the building. A scenario is presented in which the Solar PV has an extended service life.
Where the impact of the solar PV system is the highest embodied impact in the building, it shows that the design has reduced all other impacts effectively and that the building is achieving an excellent result compared to business as usual.
While the construction is complete and the building has been occupied for over a year, there remain opportunities to reduce the carbon impact of repairs, maintenance and refurbishment
of the building.
The total global warming potential (GWP) impact was calculated to be 1,590,119 kg CO2-eq.
In terms of the functional unit, which is 1 m2 of gross floor area per year, the total impact is 9.1 kg CO2-e per m2 GFA per year.
To put these numbers in context, a few average (embodied) impacts to compare against;
• A typical small office has an impact of 15.5 kg CO2-e per m2 GFA per year
• A typical large office building is 19.5 kg CO2-e per m2 GFA per year
• A similar Living Building Challenge building has an impact of 11.9 kg CO2-e per m2 GFA per year
The Te Kura Whare has taken on the Living Building challenge and achieved a remarkable result; It has a significantly lower embodied impact than functionally equivalent buildings.