Dynamic Heat Production Modeling for Life Cycle Assessment of Insulation in Danish Residential Buildings

Joshua L. Sohn, Pradip Kalbar, Morten Birkved

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    Residential building insulation is regarded as an easy solution for environmentally friendly building design. This assumption is based on the perception that the amount of thermal energy used to create insulation in most cases is much smaller than the amount of thermal energy that is needed for space heating without insulation over the lifespan of a building. When the energy sources for insulation production are similar to the energy mix that supplies heat, this logic is valid to very high level of insulation. However, in Denmark, as well as many other countries this assumption is becoming increasingly incorrect. Given the generally long service life of buildings, the significance of future energy mixes, which are expected/intended to have a smaller environmental impact, can be great. In this paper, a reference house is used to assess the life cycle environmental impacts of mineral wool insulation in a Danish single-family detached home. This single family house, is based on averages of current Danish construction practices with building heat losses estimated using Be10. To simulate a changing district heating grid mix, heat supply fuel sources are modeled according to Danish energy mix reports of fuel mix since 1972. Both the dynamic impact potentials saved by using insulation and the impacts induced from insulations production are utilized to create an overall dynamic energy inventory for the life cycle assessment. Our study shows that the use of such a dynamic energy inventory is necessary for for increasing the validity of
    optimization assessment, and our study further shows that it is likely that current Danish regulation will not promote optimum levels of insulation in the near future.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalProcedia Environmental Sciences
    Pages (from-to)737-743
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    EventInternational Conference on Sustainable Synergies from Buildings to the Urban Scale - Thessaloniki, Greece
    Duration: 17 Oct 201619 Oct 2016


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Sustainable Synergies from Buildings to the Urban Scale



    Præstrud, M. R. & Brodersen, S. W.


    Project: Research

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