Oliver Sola 7486
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Oliver Sola 7486 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Life Cycle Assessment as a Tool for Designing more Sustainable Cities Project funded by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment A042/2007/3-10.1. and the project cRRescendo within the EU 6th FWP. Research group on Sustainability and Environmental Prevention (SosteniPrA). Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) Jordi Oliver-Solà, Xavier Gabarrell, Joan Rieradevall April 2008
  • 2.
    • Research group in Sustainability and Environmental Prevention
    • Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)
    • Chemical engineers, environmentalists, geographists, agricultural engineers.
    • Research areas:
      • Industrial Ecology: LCA, MEFA, Ecodesign, Ecoefficiency and Green Purchasing
      • Sustainability in agricultural systems
    • Projects in IE: Ecodistricts, service sector, regional metabolism.
    • www.sostenipra.cat
    SosteniPrA research group
  • 3.
      • A need for the ecodesign of cities
      • LCA as a tool for the environmental analysis
      • LCA as a tool for the ecodesign of cities
      • LCA in the public space
      • Natural gas distribution networks
      • Results and discussion
      • Conclusions
    Table of contents
  • 4.
    • To design environmentally respectful cities is the only solution for facing the environmental problems that our society has created.
    • As half of the world population lives in cities , the improvement on the design of cities will reduce the environmental impact of millions of people.
    • There are many tools already developed for guiding the ecodesign process. However, when working with complex systems like cities, it’s worthy to use those that provide the deepest approach, provide a global approach, avoid problem shifting and make fewer assumptions, as in this case little errors may have a multiplying effect .
    A need for the ecodesign of cities
  • 5.
    • The studies using LCA began in the seventies and were very much focused in the energetic sector.
    • In the eighties in most cases the balances of energy, matter and waste were still applied separately .
    • In the decade of the nineties , the LCA methodology continued its development , especially because of the new recommendations of the SETAC with regard to its different phases.
    • Currently the actions are centered in the generalized application through life cycle management of products and processes.
    LCA as a tool for the environmental analysis
  • 6.
    • Strength of LCA.
    • Cradle-to-grave approach
    • Variety of impact categories that can be used
      • Global warming, ozone depletion, acidification, eutrophication, photochemical ozone formation, toxicity, energy consumption…
    • Can handle problem shifting
    LCA as a tool for the environmental analysis MATERIAL CONCEPT DISTRIBUTION PRODUCTION END OF LIFE USE
  • 7.
    • Goal and Scope
    • Should include a statement of the reason for carrying out the study as well as the intended application of the results and the intended audience.
    • Inventory analysis
    • Comprises all stages dealing with data retrieval and management.
    • Impact Assessment
    • Aims to evaluate the significance of potential environmental impacts.
    • Interpretation
    • To reach conclusions and recommendations in accordance with the defined goal and scope of the study.
    LCA as a tool for the environmental analysis
    • Steps of LCA according to SETAC and ISO standards:
    Goal and scope definition (ISO 14041) Inventory Analysis (ISO 14041) Impact Assessment (ISO 14042) Interpretation (ISO 14043)
  • 8.
    • Three steps are usually described inside the Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA):
    • Classification and characterization : In the classification step, all substances are sorted into classes according to the effect they have on the environment. And in the characterization these are aggregated within each class to produce an effect score.
    • Normalization : In this step each effect calculated for the life cycle of a product is benchmarked against the known total effect for this class.
    • Evaluation or weighting : In this phase the normalized effect scores are multiplied by a weighting factor representing the relative importance of the effect.
    LCA as a tool for the environmental analysis
  • 9. LCA as a tool for the ecodesign of cities “ All the ants on the planet, taken together, have a biomass greater than that of humans. Ants have been incredibly industrious for millions of years. Yet their productiveness nourishes plants, animals, and soil. Human industry has been in full swing for little over a century, yet it has brought about a decline in almost every ecosystem on the planet. Nature doesn’t have a design problem. People do.” McDonough i Braungart, 2002
  • 10. LCA as a tool for the ecodesign of cities
    • Ecodesign consists on the application of environmental criteria in the development of a product, process or system .
    • The designer plays a key role in all the life cycle stages since the initial decisions influence the entire life cycle .
    • LCA proved to be a useful tool for assessing Ecodesign of simple products by assessing designers and engineers during the design process.
  • 11. LCA as a tool for the ecodesign of cities
    • Results obtained for each combination of key words using the ISI Web of Knowledge search engine
    100,0 5.424 59,4 168 System 75,8 4.109 46,3 131 Process 62,5 3.390 100,0 283 Product Lifecycle Life-cycle LCA % Title, abstract and key words % Title only Key words 6,1 331 4,9 14 Infrastructure 4,4 239 6,0 17 Urban 3,6 197 7,1 20 City Lifecycle Life-cycle LCA
  • 12. Distribution networks energy, water, telecommunications… Distribution networks energy, water, telecommunications… LCA in the urban space
    • Within the public space, we distinguish three main areas of study
    Pavement Fu r n i t u r e
  • 13. Natural gas distribution networks
    • Objective, to calculate the environmental impact associated to the infrastructure of an urban network for distributing natural gas inside a neighborhood.
    • The selected indicator has been the Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) . This indicator is a good “entry point” into life cycle thinking and includes the direct and indirect energy consumption due to the use of materials.
    • Functional unit: to provide natural gas to a neighborhood. This includes the materials, installation works, maintenance of components, transportation and waste treatment of the infrastructures required to distribute natural gas in urban areas. Different urban densities and a lifespan of 50 years are taken into account.
  • 14. Natural gas distribution networks
    • System description
      • Neighborhood of 20,000 inhabitants .
      • Three density scenarios .
      • The considered scenarios recreate one low density detached house neighborhood and two medium and high density Mediterranean neighborhoods .
      • It is taken for granted that the regional natural gas pipeline reaches the neighborhood boundary.
  • 15. Natural gas distribution networks Scenarios Neighbor- hood Street section Apartments Buildings Pipe length (m) Scenario Apartments per building Buildings Pipe length (m) 48 10 100 6,672 139 1,389 C 24 10 100 6,672 278 2,778 B 1 4 100 6,667 6,667 166,667 A
  • 16. Natural gas distribution networks Detailed diagram
  • 17. Results and discussion High relevance of local components and maintenance works 15 Boiler 50 Manometer 50 Tap 50 Downpipe Apartment 50 Closet 50 Gas meters and associated elements 50 Tap 50 Service line 50 PE-Cu transition Building 50 Trench works 50 Surface box 50 Pipe Neighborhood network Average lifespan (years) Component Subsystem
  • 18. Results and discussion Scenario A
    • The length of the grid (more than 166 kilometers) has a multiplying effect on the impact.
    • The impact of the building subsystem is also higher than in B and C scenarios because in scenario A each single house requires a connection to the neighborhood grid.
  • 19. Results and discussion Scenario B
    • In the building subsystem the difference is lower than 1.5% because the relevant components (such as gas meters) are proportional to the number of apartments.
    Scenario C
    • The relative impact of the building and apartment subsystems increase with the urban density.
  • 20. Results and discussion
    • The results show that the natural gas distribution network in low density neighborhood (A) is four times more energy demanding than in the other two scenarios (B and C), basically due to the neighborhood grid.
    • The effect of doubling the density (between B and C) has a little effect on the results.
  • 21. Conclusions
    • LCA
    • There are still few experiences where LCA has been applied to deal with environmental issues in an urban context.
    • LCA is an appropriate tool for guiding the ecodesign process at an urban scale.
    • The possibility to express results in a comprehensive way, allows adapting LCA to different audiences.
    • LCA can help to the decision making process in urban planning.
  • 22. Conclusions
    • Natural gas distribution networks
    • The distribution of the environmental impact between subsystems (neighborhood network, building and dwelling) changes radically according to urban density.
    • In low-density areas the neighborhood network is the subsystem that gives raise to most CED (71%)
    • In high-density neighborhoods the building and dwelling subsystems are those that are responsible for more than 95% of the CED.
    • The neighborhood network plays a key role on the impact of natural gas distribution networks in low density areas. However, once the urban density has increased the CED variation is very low.
  • 23. Distribution networks energy, water, telecommunications… Conclusions
    • The same methodology can be applied to other systems
    Pavement Fu r n i t u r e
  • 24. Thank you very much! Life Cycle Assessment as a Tool for Designing more Sustainable Cities Research group on Sustainability and Environmental Prevention (SosteniPrA). Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) Jordi Oliver-Solà, Xavier Gabarrell, Joan Rieradevall [email_address] April 2008 Project funded by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment A042/2007/3-10.1. and the project cRRescendo within the EU 6th FWP.