Comparing Carbon Emissions from Constructing a Steel and Concrete Frame Building

Developing a thorough comprehensive understanding of the full environmental impacts inherent from the construction industry is a current challenge in order to facilitate the decision making during the design proces to achieve sustainability. An efficient method to analyze such impacts is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which evaluates the impacts such as global warming emissions, air pollution, waste, resource use, and water impacts cumulatively through each stage of a product or process life span, from the raw material extraction, to its use and final disposal. In this project, the environmental impact of alternative structural materials for a building wil lbe compared, including steel and concrete structures, through an LCA of a typical Canadian office building, in order to put environmental impacts in a like for like analysis. The construction industry will benefit from a scientific comparison based on a full analysis rather than the simple embodied energy per tonne comparisons that are meaningless. This will facilitate a better understanding on how to make steel buildings more sustainable.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Mark Gorgolewski


Ivan Lizias Rubim Duarte Pinto


Canadian Institute of Steel Construction


Architecture and design


Construction and infrastructure


Ryerson University



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