A comparative study on the embodied carbon and operational carbon of a radiant cooling system and an all-air system

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Greenhouse gas emissions worldwide must be reduced to prevent the further acceleration of global warming. Therefore, there is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions in the building sector. Radiant cooling systems have been proven to be an energy-efficient and resource-effective heating and cooling solution for buildings. These features of radiant cooling systems are expected to reduce building operational carbon emissions. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of radiant cooling systems on building supply chain carbon emissions. The classification of whole life cycle stages of a building was based on EN 15978:2011. Dynamic building simulations were carried out to verify the effects of radiant cooling system on building operational carbon emissions. The studied radiant cooling system type was a Thermally Active Building System (TABS). A model with packaged variable air volume system (VAV) with reheat was simulated as a reference case for comparison. The building model was based on the medium office of the prototype building developed by the U.S. Department of Energy. The whole life carbon (A1-A3, B4, B6, C3, C4) was 8.4 kgCO2-eq/m2/year for the all-air system and slightly lower, 7.9 kgCO2-eq/m2/year for the TABS.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Healthy Buildings 2023 Europe
Number of pages8
Place of PublicationAachen
PublisherRWTH Aachen University
Publication date2023
Article number1340
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event18th Healthy Buildings Europe Conference - Aachen, Germany
Duration: 11 Jun 202314 Jun 2023
Conference number: 18


Conference18th Healthy Buildings Europe Conference


  • Embodied carbon
  • Operational carbon
  • Whole life carbon
  • Thermally active building system (TABS)
  • Radiant heating and cooling system
  • All-air system


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