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The Role of Environmental Impact in Building Material’s Selection Hafedh Abed Yahya a* , and Muna Hanim Abdul Samad b a&b School of Housing, Building and Planning, University of Science Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia


1st International scientific conference in Cihan university

Transcript of The role of

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The Role of Environmental Impact in Building Material’s Selection

Hafedh Abed Yahyaa*, and Muna Hanim Abdul Samadb a&b School of Housing, Building and Planning, University of Science Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

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Titles Content1. Introduction2. Impact of Building Materials on Human Health3. Impact of Building Materials on Ecological

Degradation4. Building Materials Impacts on Energy Consumption5. Results and Discussion6. Conclusions

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Annually three billion metric tons of raw materials are consumed to manufacture building materials and products.The building industry is the second largest consumer of raw materials, after the food industry.


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The shapes of countries have been stretched to indicate their relative consumption patterns.

World consumption cartogram

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• Buildings and associated uses are responsible for a large part of the environmental load caused by humanity.

42% of all energy consumption

40% of all atmospheric emissions

30% of all raw materials used

25% of water usage

25% of solid waste

20% of liquid waste

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General Problem

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Research aimto diagnose the environmental impact role of building materials through life cycle, in order to reduce the environmental problems related with building materials during selection process.

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2. Impact of Building Materials on Human Health2.1. Air Pollution

“Air pollutants are airborne solid and liquid particles and gases that can pose risks to the environment and human health.”

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Activities caused air pollution• Production of electricity• Operation of equipment used in manufacture,

transport, construction, and maintenance• Manufacturing processes, mining and crushing of


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Air pollutants can cause• cancer • reproductive effects • birth defects• damage to the immune system • damage to the developmental • damage to the respiratory • neurological problems in humans and other species

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2.2. Smog“Smog is a type of air pollution, resulting when industrial

and fuel emissions become trapped at ground level and are transformed after reacting with sunlight”

Beijing China air on a day after rain (left) and a sunny but smoggy day (right) August 2005.Photo taken by Bobak Ha'Eri

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Activities caused smog• Transport of materials,• equipments used on the

construction site,• equipments used on


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Smog can causeLike air pollutants and acidification compounds, smog can have negative effects on the health of people and other biotic communities

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2.3. Ecological ToxicityToxic materials can be released into ecosystems • As by-products of manufacturing processes • fossil-fuel combustion• from the direct environmental application of toxic


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What materials pose toxic risks to people?• asphalt sealants• CCA-treated lumber • substances resulting from the manufacturing process• substances resulting from the using process• disposing of plastics, metals, metal finishes, solvents,

and adhesives.

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3. Impact of Building Materials on Ecological DegradationThe following are the ecological degradation resulting

from the two ways of the interaction;• As the source materials resources and • As a sink for emissions As by-products of

manufacturing processes .

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3.1 Global Climate Change

Global warming occurs when the earth is reradiated as heat and is absorbed and trapped by greenhouse effect reduces heat loss to space, resulting in warmer temperatures on earth.

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Three-quarter of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emission are generated from fossil-fuel combustion to power vehicle and power generating plants, and as raw material for production of synthetic polymers

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3.2 Stratospheric Ozone Depletion Human caused emissions of Ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs; used as a propellant in manufacturing and refrigerant) and Halons (used in fire suppression systems), can cause a thinning of the Ozone layer, resulting in more shortwave radiation on Earth.This has a number of potentially negative consequences, such as impacts on plants and agriculture, and increases in cancer and cataracts in people

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3.3 Acidification Acidification occurs in surface waters and soils as acidifying gases, primarily sulphur and nitrogen compounds, ether dissolve in water or adhere to solid particles.

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Acid rain also accelerates weathering of building materials such as granite, limestone, concrete, and metals. It may even cause some stainless steel to stain. This can cause premature removal and replace of some building materials

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3.4 Eutrophication“Eutrophication is the

addition of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, in soil or water resulting in over-stimulation of plant growth.”

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3.5 Deforestation, Desertification, and Soil ErosionTable shows the change of the area of forest over the world. Only 36% of the world’s primary forests remain as of 2005


(1,000 Ha)


(1,000 Ha)

Change in Area

(1,000 Ha)Change in Area (%)

South America 890.818 831.540 -59,278 -6.65

Africa 699,361 635,412 -63,949 -9.14

Oceania 212,514 206,254 -6,260 2.95

Central America & Caribbean 32,989 28,385 -4,604 -13.96

North America 677,801 677,464 -337 -0.05

Europe 989,320 1,001,394 +12,073 +1.22

Asia 574,487 571,577 -2,910 -0.51

World 4,077,291 3,952,025 -125,265 -3.07

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•loss of bio-diversity,• global warming, •soil erosion,• and desertification..

Deforestation, the large-scale removal of forests, contributes to negative environmental impacts such as

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• agriculture, • mining,• new construction of buildings, or roads,•when trees are harvested for fuel• Lumber For building materials

Deforestation occurs when forested land is cleared for

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3.6 Habitat Alteration Habitat alteration is the primary impact resulting from

mining and harvesting of materials for the manufacture of building materials.

Habitat alteration also can occur as a result of air, water, and land releases from industrial processes that change environmental conditions

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3.7 Loss of BiodiversityGlobal climate change, the destruction of forests and

habitats, and air, water, and soil pollution have all contributed to the loss of biodiversity over the past few centuries.

Biodiversity controls the spread of diseases, provides food and drugs for humans, and provides resources for industrial materials such as fibre, dyes, resins, gums, adhesives, rubber, and oils

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3.8 Water Resource DepletionProduct manufacturing activities use water, and effluent

wastes that are released into water bodies reduce water resources through pollution.

In addition, the use of impervious surfaces (such as concrete and asphalt) seriously reduces groundwater recharge

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4. Building Materials Impacts on Energy ConsumptionThe other environmental problems of building material

are the degree to which the material consumed energy.

The industrial sector is the largest end user of energy, greater ever than the transportation sector or building operation

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4.1 Energy Consumption during the Production of Building Materials

“The primary energy consumption (PEC) is the energy needed to manufacture the building product.”

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The table show Energy consumption of selected manufacturing sector Manufacturing Sector Total energy

consumption(Trillion Btu)

Chemical manufacturing; include solvents, cleaners, adhesives, paints stains, dyes, and many other compounds used in site construction products.


Petroleum refining; includes transportation fuel and polymer production.


Iron and steel 1,455Cement; includes Portland, natural, masonry, pozzolanic, and other hydraulic cements


Fabricated metal products; includes industries that transform metals into intermediate or end products.


Wood products; includes lumber processing and engineered wood products


Alumina and aluminium 351Metal casting 157

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4.2 Energy Consumption during Building, Use, and DemolitionBuilding materials consume more energy within the following aspects: • Energy consumption for the transport of

manufactured products.• Energy consumption on the building site.• Energy consumption during maintenance• Energy consumption of dismantling or removal of

materials during demolition

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4. 3 Fossil-fuel DepletionFossil-fuels are used throughout a material’s life cycle to power vehicles used in• extraction• transportation• construction• maintenance

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4. 3 Fossil-fuel Depletion

Fossil-fuels are used throughout a material’s life cycle to power vehicles used in• extraction• transportation• construction• maintenance

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5. Results and DiscussionThe matrix of environmental Impacts of materials life cycle

Environmental ImpactMaterial Life Cycle

Mining Manufacture Constructing Use Demolition



Air Pollution √ √ √ √ √Smog √ √ √ √Ecological Toxicity √ √ √ √ √



Global Climate Change √ √ √Stratospheric Ozone Depletion √Acidification √ √ √Eutrophication √ √ √ √Deforestation, Desertification, and Soil Erosion √ √ √ √ √Habitat Alteration √ √Loss of Biodiversity √ √ √Water Resource Depletion √ √



Energy Consumption during the Production of Building Materials √ √Energy Consumption during Building, Use, and Demolition √ √ √

Fossil-fuel Depletion √ √ √ √ √

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6.ConclusionsIn order to select green building materials, the designer needs to look at the entire life cycle of building material, then answer:• How is the product mining or harvested, manufactured, and

transported?• Is it produced at the factory in another country?• Does that factory release pollution into the environment? •What is the product made of? •Does it contain recycled content or renewable materials? • How much water consumption does it take to create the product? • And, overall, is the material biodegradable or recyclable when

use it in the building?

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Conclusions created that in order to reduce the environmental impacts, the selected building materials should:• Provide resource savings• Provide energy savings• Reduce wastes (be reusable

and easily recyclable).• Not be harmful for human

health• Provide comfortable and

suitable conditions for human health within the covered areas.

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Thank you