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Measuring the Embodied Carbon Content of Concrete Paving

Nicholls, Richard and Richardson, Clive (2016) Measuring the Embodied Carbon Content of Concrete Paving. In: International Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society (SEEDS), 14th and 15th September 2016, Leeds. (Unpublished)

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This paper summarises the outcomes of a PhD research project by Richardson (2009) to measure the embodied carbon content of concrete paving and to reveal the barriers to its accurate measurement. This is a current area of research due to the concerns arising from the anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide which has been identified as a key cause of climate change. The work was carried out in co-operation with a major manufacturer of concrete paving revealing the practicalities of energy auditing within an existing factory using its unmodified infrastructure, methods of energy metering and recording. The work involved identifying all of the energy inputs involved in the manufacturing process during a financial year. The auditing boundaries were restricted to the main manufacturing facility and its immediate suppliers of raw materials commonly known as cradle to gate. The energy applicable to the paving material had to be apportioned from site wide energy usage. The energy used to supply the raw materials and operate the manufacturing facility was then converted to an amount of carbon dioxide released using standard conversion factors. The barriers to accurate auditing were identified and an embodied carbon coefficient for the raw materials and finished product determined. The embodied carbon contents that were determined differed from those found in the national database. A number of factors are identified that could have contributed to this and suggestions for further research made.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: T Technology > TH Building construction
Schools: School of Art, Design and Architecture
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Depositing User: Richard Nicholls
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2016 14:05
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2016 18:32


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