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Life cycle energy and carbon assessment of double skin façades for office refurbishments

Pomponi, Francesco; Piroozfar, Poorang A E; Southall, Ryan; Ashton, Phil; Farr, Eric R P


Poorang A E Piroozfar

Ryan Southall

Phil Ashton

Eric R P Farr


In countries like the UK, the upkeep of existing buildings is where the greatest opportunities for achieving carbon reduction targets lie. Façades are the physical barriers between outdoors and indoors, and their upgrade can arguably be amongst the most effective interventions to improve the existing stock. Double Skin Façades (DSFs) represent a possible solution for low-carbon refurbishment due to their capability to reduce energy consumption, and the related carbon emissions, of the building they are applied to. Although much research exists on maximising the operational energy savings of DSFs, little is known about their life cycle performance. This article addresses such a knowledge gap through a comparative life cycle assessment between DSF refurbishments and an up-to-standard, single-skin alternative. This study adopts a parametric approach where 128 DSF configurations have been analysed through primary data. Energy and carbon (both operational and embodied) are the units assessed in this research. Results show that DSFs are more energy-efficient than single-skin in 98% of the cases, and more carbon-efficient in 85% of the cases. Not only does this study represent the first broad parametric approach to evaluating life cycle energy and carbon of DSFs within its given context, but it also informs environmentally-aware design and application of DSFs.


Pomponi, F., Piroozfar, P. A. E., Southall, R., Ashton, P., & Farr, E. R. P. (2015). Life cycle energy and carbon assessment of double skin façades for office refurbishments. Energy and Buildings, 109, 143-156.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 20, 2015
Online Publication Date Sep 28, 2015
Publication Date Dec 15, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 20, 2019
Journal Energy and Buildings
Print ISSN 0378-7788
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 109
Pages 143-156
Keywords Double skin façade; Embodied carbon; Embodied energy; Global warming potential; Life cycle assessment; Low-carbon refurbishment
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