Med klimatförändringar och livscykelanalyser i sikte — en utblick mot Norges byggda kulturarv
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBebyggelseshistorisk tidskrift. 2017, (73), 104-115.
Climate change places great demands on Norway’s historic buildings. On one hand the weather is likely to become more extreme. On the other, buildings must be adapted to use energy more effectively. To meet this challenge we must identify the most sustainable solutions and strategies. Here we can learn much from past building traditions – and from modern methods too. We must remember that the old buildings of today already consumed substantial environmental resources when they were built. The purpose of this article is to present the results of two Norwegian lifecycle analyses, and use them to discuss the need to shift our focus away from energy consumption to the actual release of greenhouse gases. The article presents a scientific overview, and proposes lifecycle analysis as a means to calculate the environmental effects, both short term and long term, of using energy more effectively as opposed to constructing new buildings. Results show that manufacture-related emissions of new building materials decisively influence the equation when we compare renovating an existing building with constructing a new one. Therefore it is not necessarily better to build a new structure instead of adapting an old one to be more energy effective. In conclusion the article discusses the potential and need for more widespread use of lifecycle perspectives when managing historic buildings.