Parametric Approach to Simplified Life Cycle Assessment of Social Housing Projects
Luis Felipe López, Base Bahay Foundation Inc.
Guillaume Habert, ETH Zurich
Edwin Zea Escamilla, ETH Zurich
The provision of sustainable housing solutions is one of the main challenges in emerging economy countries. Furthermore, it is clear that a sustainable solution should be based on renewable bio-based materials. Scientific and practical evidence clearly suggests that the use of bamboo in the provision of housing solutions provides communities with both environmental and socioeconomic benefits via this strategy. One barrier to the promotion of this type of solution is the lack of knowledge of structural design and environmental performance. Moreover, access to assessment tools and methodologies is limited. The use of simplified Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has exhibited great potential to increase accessibility, but the generation of life cycle inventory data remains a major issue. In this paper, we describe the development of a methodological approach to using parametric design to generate the data required to carry out simplified LCA of social housing solutions. Moreover, we present a case study assessing a housing unit using cement bamboo frame technology developed by the Base Bahay Foundation in the Philippines. The main parameters for the LCA of the buildings were identified through sensitivity analysis. Moreover, they show that parametric design is a valid approach to overcoming the challenges of data generation at the early stages of design. The proposed approach would enable users without civil and/or engineering backgrounds to carry out simplified LCA calculations. Thus, through methodological approaches, it is possible to reduce significantly the complexity associated with LCA and open new avenues for its application.