House Embodied Energy and Zero Energy Building Concept

Keywords: embodied energy, embodied carbon, straw bale construction, zero energy buildings, climate change


Seeking to mitigate climate change it is impossible to avoid radical changes in construction sector, because it accounts for 40% of primary energy use for buildings operation in Europe and other countries.  Production of building materials also affects climate change and environment quality.  The concept of zero energy building (ZEB) emphasizes energy efficiency, energy saving and renewable energy use during the operation of buildings and it is a necessary step in changing the present situation. Nevertheless there are more possibilities for improving building sector sustainability. The article presents analysis of embodied energy reduction using straw bales and other local materials for wall construction. Estimations have shown that replacing a structural component as bricks with local wood, and thermal insulation material - stone wool with straw bales, it is possible to reduce embodied energy and embodied carbon of a wall more than 7 times. Pressed straw being a building material with good thermal properties, straw bale buildings could meet the passive houses standard or help fulfilling the concept of zero energy building without additional harm to the nature of extra thermal insulation use.

Author Biography

Institute of Environmental Engineering, Kaunas University of Technology, phd student