Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Environmental sustainability in the construction Industry in developing countries: a study of embodied energy of low-cost housing.

Mpakati Gama, Effiness; Wamuziri, Sam; Sloan, Brian


Effiness Mpakati Gama

Sam Wamuziri

Brian Sloan


The embodied energy (EE) of a residential building is estimated at 20-40% of
operation energy over its total usable life. However, this varies from one context to
the other due to the primary energy used, technological advancement of a particular
context and the methods used for the inventory analysis. Despite the lack of monetary
value, EE analysis (EEA) is recommended for the selection of building materials at
the design stage in terms of environmental loads. However, little attention has been
paid to this area in developing countries, particularly, the Sub-Saharan Africa. Due to
the increasing demand of building materials deemed to rise with urbanisation in this
region, the acceleration of environmental impacts is also inevitable. Therefore, data
based tools are required to complement the existing policy and regulatory frameworks. In this study, EE of masonry and roof components of low-cost housing
in Malawi will be assessed. The process based-hybrid energy analysis is employed to
evaluate energy and the greenhouse gases related to the manufacturing, transportation
of building materials and the assembling and maintenance of the entire residential
building. This paper in particular, presents part of the conceptual framework of the
study focusing on EE analysis especially the methods used and the associated
problems based the literature review. So far, it is noted that the inventory analysis
stage, which involves the evaluation of energy requirements, is the essential part of
the EEA because of the various methods employed. Although the existing methods are sufficient relative to the available data, there is an urgency to increase the process
data sets to enhance the reliability of the existing methods. Therefore, in addition to
enhancing knowledge and understanding of life-cycle thinking to the construction
stakeholders and decision makers in the selection of building materials, this study will
also contribute to such data.

Conference Name 26th Annual ARCOM Conference
Start Date Sep 6, 2010
End Date Sep 8, 2010
Publication Date 2010
Deposit Date Sep 12, 2011
Publicly Available Date Sep 12, 2011
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1417-1426
ISBN 978-0-9552390-4-5
Keywords environmental sustainability; construction; low-cost housing; embodied energy; environmental impact; hybrid-analysis;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Sep 12, 2011


You might also like

Downloadable Citations