Energy Performance of Alkali-Activated Cement-Based Concrete Buildings

Juan Pablo Gevaudan, Wil V. Srubar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the United States, the construction and operation of buildings account for approximately 40% of total energy consumption and total carbon dioxide emissions. In order to reduce these environmental impacts, truly net-zero energy buildings necessitate that both operational and embodied energy and carbon are offset through the combined use of high-performance building envelope materials and on-site renewable energy generation. Novel alkali-Activated cement (AAC) concrete exhibits potential benefits such as lower thermal conductivity, equivalent compressive strength, and potentially lower environmental footprint, which translate to reductions in the amount of concrete material and lower environmental impacts compared to ordinary portland cement (OPC) concrete. The objective of this work was to quantify and compare the potential embodied and operational energy savings associated with the use of slag-based AAC concrete in relation to conventional OPC concrete and OPC+10% slag concrete in commercial building envelopes. Two functional units were considered for comparison, namely (a) constant volume replacement and (b) constant R-value of external wall assemblies. Using the Department of Energy (DOE) reference building models for commercial buildings to provide a consistent baseline for comparison, operational energy was quantified using EnergyPlus, a whole-building energy modeling tool, while embodied energy was quantified via lifecycle assessment (LCA) using inventory data obtained from the literature. The results demonstrate that, while total operational energy savings potential were negligible, AAC concrete buildings exhibit consistent reductions in material quantities and, thus, total embodied energy across climate regions. In addition to energy savings potential, the results of this study highlight the necessity to consider embodied energy in addition to operational energy when calculating the total energy consumption of truly net-zero energy buildings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAEI 2017
Subtitle of host publicationResilience of the Integrated Building - Proceedings of the Architectural Engineering National Conference 2017
EditorsJeffery S. Volz
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Pages311-323
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780784480502
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
EventArchitectural Engineering National Conference 2017: Resilience of the Integrated Building, AEI 2017 - Oklahoma City, United States
Duration: Apr 11 2017Apr 13 2017

Publication series

NameAEI 2017: Resilience of the Integrated Building - Proceedings of the Architectural Engineering National Conference 2017

Other

OtherArchitectural Engineering National Conference 2017: Resilience of the Integrated Building, AEI 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOklahoma City
Period4/11/174/13/17

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Architecture

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