Document Type

Case studies and site investigations paper

Publication details

Miller, D, Doh, JH, Lima, MM, van Oers, N 2014, 'Embodied energy assessment of the structural system in concrete buildings: a case study on 7 south east Queensland structures', in ST Smith (ed.), 23rd Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (ACMSM23), vol. II, Byron Bay, NSW, 9-12 December, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, pp. 1217-1222. ISBN: 9780994152008.

Peer Reviewed



The contribution of the building industry to a wide range of environmental impacts is extensive with the construction, operation and maintenance of buildings accounting for approximately 50% of all energy usage and anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. Previous attempts to mitigate buildings environmental impacts have focused on the optimisation of operational energy requirements to improve life cycle energy consumption. Societies increased awareness of environmental issues, as well as improved technology; result in reductions of operational energy consumption. The outcome being increased embodied energy contributions to a structures life cycle. At present, no design standards include the assessment of structures embodied energy. This research was conducted to obtain an understanding of the embodied energy present in recently constructed concrete buildings in the South East Queensland region of Australia. In order to develop standards, current baselines values need to be generated to assess existing performance. The focus was quantifying and analysing the embodied energy of a number of existing concrete buildings of various heights and structural systems. The study was conducted on seven structures to investigate the suitability of this methodology in developing sound baseline values for the building design industry. The outcome of these buildings based on current green building ratings systems was also considered.