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      AN INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT OF THE SUSTAINABILITY OF GREEN AND BUILT-UP ROOFS

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          Abstract

          There is growing demand to develop methods that integrate environmental and economic assessment of more sustainable technologies incorporated into commercial and residential buildings. In this paper, we incorporate economic and energy use data obtained for a green roof operating in the Midwest U.S. at latitude 42.94N into an integrated approach to estimate and compare the economic and environmental impacts of an intensive (or extensive) green roof with a built-up roof. The life cycle stages included in the analysis were material acquisition life stage which including the transportation effects from material extraction through manufacturing to the finished products, and the use and maintenance life stage of the building. Environmental impact analysis indicates that green roof emits three times more environmental pollutants than built-up roofs in the material acquisition life stage. However, in the use and maintenance life stage, built-up roof emits three times more pollutants than a green roof. Overall, when emissions from both material acquisition life stage and use and maintenance life stage are combined, the built-up roof contributes almost 3 times more (or 46% more) environmental emissions than green roof over a 45-year building life span. Furthermore the overall energy use, specifically energy involved in the transportation from material extraction through to the finished product indicate that green roof uses 2.5 times less energy than a built-up roof. An Economic Input and Output life cycle assessment (EIO-LCA) was used to estimate the environmental impacts. The economic impact over an assumed 45-year building life was determined using life cycle costing, taking into account Net Present Value (NPV) calculations. Life cycle costing results indicate that green roof costs approximately 50% less to maintain over a 45 year-building life than a built-up roof. A Monte Carlo simulation is also performed to account for any variability in cost data. In addition, the paper presents a method to quantify the value incentive that a decision-maker has in adopting green technology. Results from the study indicate that when a green roof is compared to the Midwest regional NPV of a built-up roof, we find that the cost to maintain it ($35 per square foot) lies well below the average regional NPV of $59 per square foot of a built-up roof.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Peer Reviewed: Economic Input–Output Models for Environmental Life-Cycle Assessment

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            Vegetation in the urban environment: microclimatic analysis and benefits

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              Investigation of thermal benefits of rooftop garden in the tropical environment

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jgrb
                College Publishing
                Journal of Green Building
                College Publishing
                1552-6100
                1943-4618
                1943-4618
                Spring 2008
                : 3
                : 2
                : 106-127
                Author notes

                1PhD Candidate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech. University, 1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI 49931. Email: hemuga@ 123456mtu.edu .

                2Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech. University, 1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI 49931. Email: amukherj@ 123456mtu.edu .

                3Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech. University, 1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI 49931. Email: jm41@ 123456mtu.edu .

                Article
                jgb.3.2.106
                10.3992/jgb.3.2.106
                ©2008 by College Publishing. All rights reserved.

                Volumes 1-7 of JOGB are open access and do not require permission for use, though proper citation should be given. To view the licenses, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

                Page count
                Pages: 22
                Product
                Categories
                RESEARCH ARTICLES

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