Analyzing the environmental sustainability of primary schools' facades within the scope of life cycle assessment in Turkey and recommendations for improvement

Keles C., Yazıcıoğlu F.

SMART AND SUSTAINABLE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, 2021 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/sasbe-04-2021-0072
  • Keywords: Life cycle assessment, Energy efficiency, Environmental sustainability, Environmental impact, Facades, EMBODIED ENERGY, RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS, EMISSIONS, NEED


Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify the sustainability conditions of primary schools in Turkey within the scope of the life cycle assessment (LCA). It is aimed to develop optimum alternatives to reduce the environmental impact of primary schools and reach environmental sustainability targets of the sustainable development goals in Turkey. Design/methodology/approach From the construction project of 103 buildings located in Istanbul, 10 case buildings with various typical plans were chosen for analysis. The results regarding their life cycle energy and carbon emission for material production, operation and maintenance stages were calculated for a lifespan of 50 years. Results were evaluated and compared within the scope of environmental sustainability. Optimum alternatives for improving the environmental sustainability and performances of selected case buildings' facades were developed, and the life cycle energy and carbon emission for proposed conditions were calculated. The obtained results were evaluated for current and proposed conditions. Findings Results showed that reinforced concrete material contributes the most to the life cycle-embodied energy and CO2 emission of buildings. Cooling load increases the life cycle operational energy (LCOE) and CO2 emission of buildings. Using high-performance glazing significantly reduces LCOE and CO2 emission. Recycled and fiber-based materials have significant potential for reducing life cycle-embodied energy and CO2 emission. Originality/value This study has been developed in response to achieving sustainable development targets on public buildings in Turkey. In this regard, external walls of primary schools were analyzed within the scope of LCA and recommendations were made to contribute to the policies and regulations requested by the Government of Turkey. This study proves that alternative and novel materials have great potential for achieving sustainable public buildings. The study answers to questions about reducing the environmental impact of primary school buildings by using LCA approach with a holistic point of view.