Achieving net zero carbon performance in a commercial building by aligning technical and policy alternatives - An UK case study

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Title: Achieving net zero carbon performance in a commercial building by aligning technical and policy alternatives - An UK case study
Authors: Andrianopoulos, E
Acha, S
Shah, N
Item Type: Conference Paper
Abstract: Quantifying a detailed inventory of carbon emissions attributed to a retail building is of vital importance to minimize (or offset) their environmental impact. However, quantifying the environmental impact of a commercial building's operation has attracted great controversy regarding both the carbon fields considered within the building's operational boundaries and the different responsibility levels among participants. This paper details a robust framework on how businesses operating under UK policy can measure the operational carbon performance attributed to their buildings. Furthermore, the paper investigates how the quantified emissions can be offset in order to reach net zero carbon operational performance. The analysis is structured in three levels and its applicability is showcased through an industry-sourced example of a supermarket building. The first level aims to classify building emissions according to their sources namely electricity consumption, on-site fuel burning, water supply, transport operations and waste management & disposal. The developed carbon fields' analysis technique treats a commercial building as an on-going energy consuming system where different operations (e.g. transport activities) contribute to the building's commercial use as well as to its operational carbon footprint. In the second level, the study compares a food store's carbon footprint across different supply and operation scenarios in order to analyse how each sector can influence emissions. In the third stage, the research details the carbon off-setting achieved by installing a bioenergy combined heat and power (CHP) unit in its premises and thus achieving net zero carbon performance. Results illustrate the environmental benefits for different CHP capacity solutions. These results show how urban cogeneration plants can de-carbonise UK buildings. However, the UK carbon accounting framework is still evolving and therefore is constantly subject to regulatory changes. Consequently, business stakeholders need to be periodically updated with carbon regulation if they wish to design, manage and sustain zero carbon buildings.
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2015
ISBN: 9782955553909
Journal / Book Title: ECOS 2015 - 28th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems
Sponsor/Funder: Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd
Funder's Grant Number: n/a
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Centre for Environmental Policy
Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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