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dc.contributor.authorLlantoy Huamán, Noelia Karin
dc.contributor.authorChàfer, Marta
dc.contributor.authorCabeza, Luisa F.
dc.description.abstractThe construction industry is one of the less sustainable activities on the planet, constituting 40% of the total energy demand and approximately 44% of the total material use and the generation of 40-50% of the global output of greenhouse gases. The biggest environmental impact caused by buildings is generated during their operational phase due to the energy consumption for thermal conditioning. Hence, in order to reduce this energy consumption, insulation materials must be used and from a life-cycle perspective, the use of insulation materials reduces the building impact over time. This paper develops a comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) of different insulation materials (polyurethane, extruded polystyrene, and mineral wool) to analyse the environmental profile of each insulation material type in the Mediterranean continental climate. Significantly, all three insulation materials demonstrated a net positive benefit over a fifty-year life span due to the reduced heating requirements of the building. Results showed that the highest environmental impact was associated with the polystyrene insulation material and the best environmental performance was for the mineral wool. Moreover, regarding the consumption, polyurethane and mineral wool had similar thermal performance during the whole year. Furthermore, the environmental payback period shows that the cubicles with insulation material are environmentally efficient, if they are used for at least 7 years (for mineral wool), 10 years (polyurethane), and 12 years (extruded polystyrene). The results of this research give new insights into the effect on building insulation materials.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was partially funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades de España (RTI2018-093849-B-C31 - MCIU/AEI/FEDER, UE)and the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades - Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI) (RED2018-102431-T). The authors would like to thank the Catalan Government for the quality accreditation given to their research group GREiA (2017 SGR 1537). GREiA is a certified agent TECNIO in the category of technology developers from the Government of Catalonia. This work is partially supported by ICREA under the ICREA Academia programme.
dc.relation.isformatofVersió postprint del document publicat a:
dc.relation.ispartofEnergy and Buildings, 2020, vol. 225, p. 110323-1-110323-12
dc.rightscc-by-nc-nd (c) Elsevier Science, 2020
dc.subjectInsulation materials
dc.subjectLife cycle assessment (LCA)
dc.subjectEnvironmental impact
dc.subjectThermal performance
dc.titleA comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) of different insulation materials for buildings in the continental Mediterranean climate

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cc-by-nc-nd (c) Elsevier Science, 2020
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as cc-by-nc-nd (c) Elsevier Science, 2020