Browsing by Subject "building materials"

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  • Heiskanen, Ilmari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Interest towards indoor air quality has increased for several decades from human health perspective. In order to evaluate the quality of indoor air in terms of volatile organic compound (VOC) levels, robust analytical procedures and techniques must be used for indoor air VOC measurements. Since indoor building materials are the greatest source of indoor VOC emissions, same kind of procedures must be used for analysis of emission rates from building materials and their surfaces. Theory part of this thesis reviews background of VOCs and human health, legislation and guideline values, common building materials with emissions and used sampling techniques/approaches for indoor air sampling and surface material emission rate sampling & analysis. Discussed sampling techniques include, for example, material emission test chambers, field and laboratory test emission cells, solid phase microextraction (SPME) fibre applications and Radiello passive samplers. Also new innovative approaches are discussed. Used common analysis instruments are Gas Chromatography (GC) with Mass Spectrometer (MS) or Flame Ionization Detector (FID) for VOCs and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Ultraviolet/Visible light detector (HPLC-UV/VIS) for carbonyl VOCs (e.g. formaldehyde) after suitable derivatization. Analytical procedures remain highly ISO 16000 standard series orientated even in recent studies. In addition, potential usage of new modern miniaturized sample collection devices SPME Arrow and In-tube extraction (ITEX) used in experimental part of this thesis are discussed as an addition to indoor air and VOC emission studies. The aim of the experimental part of this thesis was to develop calibrations for selected organic nitrogen compounds with SPME Arrow and ITEX sampling techniques and test the calibration with indoor and outdoor samples. A calibration was successfully carried out with SPME Arrow (MCM-41 sorbent), ITEX (MCM-TP sorbent) and ITEX (Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) 10 % sorbent) with permeation system combined with GC-MS for the following selected organic nitrogen compounds: triethylamine, pyridine, isobutyl amine, allylamine, trimethylamine, ethylenediamine, dipropyl amine, hexylamine, 1,3-diaminopropane, 1-methyl-imidazole, N, N-dimethylformamide, 1,2-diaminocyclohexane, 1-nitropropane and formamide. The overall quality of the calibration curves was evaluated, and the calibrations were compared in terms of linear range, relative standard deviation (RSD) % for accepted calibration levels and obtained Limits of Detection (LOD) values. Also, ways to improve the calibrations were discussed. The calibration curves were tested with real indoor and outdoor samples and quantitative, as well as semi-quantitative, results were obtained.
  • Amiri, Ali; Ottelin, Juudit; Sorvari, Jaana; Junnila, Seppo (IOP Publishing, 2020)
    Environmental Research Letters 15 (2020) 094076
    Although buildings produce a third of greenhouse gas emissions, it has been suggested that they might be one of the most cost-effective climate change mitigation solutions. Among building materials, wood not only produces fewer emissions according to life-cycle assessment but can also store carbon. This study aims to estimate the carbon storage potential of new European buildings between 2020 and 2040. While studies on this issue exist, they mainly present rough estimations or are based on a small number of case studies. To ensure a reliable estimation, 50 different case buildings were selected and reviewed. The carbon storage per m2 of each case building was calculated and three types of wooden buildings were identified based on their carbon storage capacity. Finally, four European construction scenarios were generated based on the percentage of buildings constructed from wood and the type of wooden buildings. The annual captured CO2 varied between 1 and 55 Mt, which is equivalent to between 1% and 47% of CO2 emissions from the cement industry in Europe. This study finds that the carbon storage capacity of buildings is not significantly influenced by the type of building, the type of wood or the size of the building but rather by the number and the volume of wooden elements used in the structural and non-structural components of the building. It is recommended that policymakers aiming for carbon-neutral construction focus on the number of wooden elements in buildings rather than more general indicators, such as the amount of wood construction, or even detailed indirect indicators, such as building type, wood type or building size. A practical scenario is proposed for use by European decision-makers, and the role of wood in green building certification is discussed.
  • Amiri, Ali; Emami, Nargessadat; Ottelin, Juudit; Sorvari, Jaana; Marteinsson, Björn; Heinonen, Jukka; Junnila, Seppo (Elsevier, 2021)
    Energy and Buildings 241: 110962
    The construction and use of buildings consume a significant proportion of global energy and natural resources. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is arguably the most international green building certification system and attempts to take actions to limit energy use of buildings and construct them sustainably. While there has been a wide range of research mainly focused on energy use and emission production during the operation phase of LEED-certified buildings, research on embodied emissions is rare. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficiency of LEED regarding initial (pre-use) embodied emissions using life cycle assessment (LCA). The study comprised several steps using a designed model. In the first step, three optional building material scenarios were defined (optimized concrete, hybrid concrete-wood, and wooden buildings) in addition to the base case concrete building located in Iceland. Second, an LCA was conducted for each scenario. Finally, the number of LEED points and the level of LEED certification was assessed for all studied scenarios. In addition, a comparison regarding embodied emissions consideration between LEED and Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) as mostly used green certificate was conducted in the discussion section. The LCA showed the lowest environmental impact for the wooden building followed by the hybrid concrete-wood building. In the LEED framework, wooden and hybrid scenarios obtained 14 and 8 points that were related to material selection. Among these points, only 3 (out of a total of 110 available points) were directly accredited to embodied emissions. The study recommends that the green building certificates increase the weight of sustainable construction materials since the significance of embodied emissions is substantially growing along with the current carbon neutrality goals. As most of the materials for building construction are imported into Iceland, this study is useful for locations similar to Iceland, while overall it is beneficial for the whole world regarding climate change mitigation.