Ecological Footprint Assessment of Building Construction

Direct Consumption: Energy and Water

Author(s): Jaime Solis-Guzman and Madelyn Marrero

Pp: 36-62 (27)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681080987115010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The impact sources of energy and water, which consume resources directly, are analysed. Both are crucial in the EF calculation. First, for energy consumption, both fuel and electricity are examined. The transformation of these two types of consumption into EF values is performed through the existing EF methodology, although certain procedures have to be adapted to the building sector. The conversion of energy to productive territory considers forest land as the productive land necessary for the absorption of CO2 emissions resulting from burning fuel. In the energy footprint of the building, the average absorption factor obtained from urban vegetation is applied. Using the absorption and emission factors established, the energy productivity is obtained.

Secondly, the water supply EF is evaluated. Generally, all EF studies obviate this aspect due to the intrinsic difficulty of transforming water consumption data into a quantity of consumed land; a transformation is proposed. In the water EF, the forest productivity is employed, which is taken as 1,500 m3/ha/year.

Keywords: Absorption factor, Conversion factors, Dwelling construction, Ecological footprint, Electricity, Emission factor, Energy, Forest productivity, Fuel, Fuel productivity factor, Productive land, Water consumption.

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