Embodied carbon of building products during their supply chains: Case study of aluminium window in Australia
Resources, Conservation and Recycling
This study aims to provide a reliable approach to quantifying the embodied carbon in building products during their supply chains in Australia. For embodied carbon quantification, the cradle-to-factory gate system boundary includes all stages in the product’s life cycle from extraction of materials, through processing, transportation and manufacturing. For performing hot spot analysis on the production of the product, the method restricts embodied carbon modelling and analysis to the realm of influence in which production related activities can be directly controlled or influenced by the manufacturer of the final product. The approach was quantitatively demonstrated by showing how embodied carbon in an aluminium window brand is calculated and how the embodied carbon can be reduced in the final product design with the various design contexts. Through this study, we found that the window manufacturing process contributes 11% of total carbon emission. Transportation contributes only a small amount (0.45%) of the total. The supplied aluminium extrusions exhibit a high contribution to the total carbon emissions. This study also shows interesting scenario results by applying alternate design options for the purpose of reducing carbon in the final product.