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Embodied energy consumption of the construction industry and its international trade using multi-regional input–output analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2018-08-01, 00:00 authored by Bin Liu, D Wang, Y Xu, Chunlu LiuChunlu Liu, Mark LutherMark Luther
International trade supplies a great number of new opportunities for the development of the construction industry in relation to globalisation. Many construction industry studies relevant to international trade have focused on the evaluation of national trade performance in energy from the viewpoint of the whole economy or of a specific product. Intermediate demand and input, as significant components of the input–output table, indicate the interrelationships between economic sectors, as well as the economic structure in relation to aspects of production and consumption. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the international trade in construction products and services with a focus on their embodied energy consumed at the intermediate level. A multi-regional input–output method is adopted to assess the transfer of embodied energy that accompanies the international trade of the global construction industries. The net embodied energy in the construction industry of each world region has been identified based on its exports and imports. The results indicate that the average embodied energy consumption in intermediate demand over 1999–2009 accounted for approximately 90% in the world construction industries. International construction industries were dominated by activities of intermediate production which aimed to satisfy the embodied energy consumption in the intermediate and final requirements. The USA, China, Japan, Spain and India were the top five in the scale of the intermediate consumption of embodied energy. The production of intermediate goods and services in some world regions decreased its dependence on embodied energy imports from the international construction industries. This study highlights the influence of the international trade in embodied energy on the development of the construction industry at the intermediate level. The outcomes provide considerable resources and references for policy adjustment and strategy design in the management of international trade for the construction sector.



Energy and buildings




489 - 501




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Elsevier