On-Site Renewable Energy and Green Buildings: A System-Level Analysis

Sami Al-Gahmdi, Melissa M. Bilec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Adopting a green building rating system (GBRSs) that strongly considers use of renewable energy can have important environmental consequences, particularly in developing countries. In this paper, we studied on-site renewable energy and GBRSs at the system level to explore potential benefits and challenges. While we have focused on GBRSs, the findings can offer additional insight for renewable incentives across sectors. An energy model was built for 25 sites to compute the potential solar and wind power production on-site and available within the building footprint and regional climate. A life-cycle approach and cost analysis were then completed to analyze the environmental and economic impacts. Environmental impacts of renewable energy varied dramatically between sites, in some cases, the environmental benefits were limited despite the significant economic burden of those renewable systems on-site and vice versa. Our recommendation for GBRSs, and broader policies and regulations, is to require buildings with higher environmental impacts to achieve higher levels of energy performance and on-site renewable energy utilization, instead of fixed percentages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4606-4614
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume50
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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