Evaluation of the environmental impact of experimental buildings with different constructive systems using Material Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment
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Sustainability of building construction systems depends on their material and energy consumption, and the consequent environmental impact. Thus, the evaluation of their sustainability requires a wide analysis that includes these three topics. Material Flow Analysis (MFA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) used together can offer a full environmental evaluation. For this reason, in this study, five different facade constructive systems are evaluated with MFA and LCA to compare them from an environmental point of view. The constructive systems were monitored in an experimental set-up located in Mediterranean continental climate, registering energy consumptions for summer and winter periods. MFA evaluated their total material requirement and the ecological rucksack. LCA evaluated their impact on the environment. The energy parameter considered the embodied energy of the materials and the energy consumption registered in the experimental set-up. MFA results show the significant quantity of natural resource extraction required for building which leads to a considerable ecological rucksack. On the other hand, LCA results show the importance of the operational phase of the building in the overall building energy consumption, and therefore in the environmental impact.