The potential of carbon sequestration in the residential sector to reduce embodied carbon and contribute to UK emissions targets

Ward, Robin (2014) The potential of carbon sequestration in the residential sector to reduce embodied carbon and contribute to UK emissions targets. MEng dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation investigates the potential of carbon sequestration in the residential sector to reduce embodied carbon and contribute to UK emission targets. This is achieved by running a full life cycle assessment, using SimaPro, of three typical houses in the UK: detached, semi-detached and terrace. The external walls of each house are replaced with the biorenewable building materials, hemcrete and strawbale, that incorporate carbon sequestration. The net carbon emissions showed that carbon sequestration does reduce the embodied carbon of a house, relative to conventional construction, with savings of: 26 tCO2e, 19 tCO2e and 12 tCO2e for strawbale construction; and 92 tCO2e, 68 tCO2e and 43 tCO2e for hemcrete, in the detached, semi-detached and terrace house respectively. A sensitivity analysis indicated that the parameters allocation and time horizon can influence the outcome of the results whereas transport had a negligible impact. Finally, the results or carbon sequestration were scaled up according to predictions of house constructions in the UK in 2050, at an assumed implementation of each bio-renewable building material. The estimated results showed that the contribution of carbon sequestration (2.8 MtCO2) to reduce emissions from the 1990 baseline by 80% is: 0.45% for the entire UK and 4.33% in the residential sector. This research adds to the evidence of the potential of carbon sequestration to mitigate climate change. However, the interpretation of the results advocates that the accuracy is undermined by the limitations of the methodology.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Technology > School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2015 10:36
    Last Modified: 06 Feb 2015 10:36
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/16727

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