A Whole Life Cycle Assessment of the Sustainable Aspects of Structural Systems in Tall Buildings

The council on Tall Buildings and Urban habitat (CTBUH), based at Illinois Institute of Technology has launched a multi-faceted research project to study the life cycles of various tall building structural systems, sponsored by a $300,000 grant from ArcelorMittal. Dr. Antony Wood, executive director of the Council of tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), is the Principle Investigator (PI) of this research. Dr. Payam Bahrami, senior research associate at CTBUH, is a Co-Principle Investigator.

This research will investigate the true sustainability aspects of structural systems through a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of tall buildings. The research is to be conducted as an independent study.

(©CTBUH Left to right: Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago; New York Times Tower, New York; Shanghai Tower, Shanghai.)

The CTBUH will bring together a spectrum of researchers and global experts from its unique network of members to the project. The Structural Engineering Peer Review Panel met recently in Chicago to discuss research intended on assessing environmental, energy, and economic impacts of structural systems in tall buildings.

The aim of this research is to develop a methodology for the assessment of life cycle energy use in a tall building structural system.

The research will provide an essential starting point for both policy and design discussions, and the results will be of interest to a wide audience. This LCA approach provides a new level of clarity for carbon accounting, which will help to develop more quantitative approaches to green construction in the future.