Modelling direct and indirect water requirements of construction
McCormack, Michael, Treloar, Graham J., Palmowski, Laurence and Crawford, Robert 2007, Modelling direct and indirect water requirements of construction, Building research and information, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 156-162, doi: 10.1080/09613210601125383.
Water consumed directly by the construction industry is known to be of little importance. However, water consumed in the manufacture of goods and services required by construction may be significant in the context of a building's life cycle water requirements and the national water budget. This paper evaluates the significance of water embodied in the construction of individual buildings. To do this, an input-output-based hybrid embodied water analysis was undertaken on 17 Australian non-residential case studies. It was found that there is a considerable amount of water embodied in construction. The highest value was 20.1 kilolitres (kL)/m2 gross floor area (GFA), representing many times the enclosed volume of the building, and many years worth of operational water. The water required by the main construction process is minimal. However, the water embodied in building materials is considerable. These findings suggest that the selection of elements and materials has a great impact on a building's embodied water. This research allows the construction industry to evaluate design and construction in broad environmental terms to select options that might be cost neutral or possibly cost positive while retaining their environmental integrity. The research suggests policies focused on operational water consumption alone are inadequate.
Field of Research
129999 Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
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