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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 175702, 5 pages
Research Article

Life Comparative Analysis of Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions of Different Building Structural Frame Types

1School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AW, UK
2Department of Plant & Architectural Engineering, Kyonggi University, Gwanggyosan-ro, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 443-760, Republic of Korea
3Department of Architectural Engineering, Halla University, Wonju-si 220-712, Republic of Korea

Received 9 August 2013; Accepted 6 September 2013

Academic Editors: N. F. Atta and M. Yari

Copyright © 2013 Sangyong Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of this research is to quantitatively measure and compare the environmental load and construction cost of different structural frame types. Construction cost also accounts for the costs of CO2 emissions of input materials. The choice of structural frame type is a major consideration in construction, as this element represents about 33% of total building construction costs. In this research, four constructed buildings were analyzed, with these having either reinforced concrete (RC) or steel (S) structures. An input-output framework analysis was used to measure energy consumption and CO2 emissions of input materials for each structural frame type. In addition, the CO2 emissions cost was measured using the trading price of CO2 emissions on the International Commodity Exchange. This research revealed that both energy consumption and CO2 emissions were, on average, 26% lower with the RC structure than with the S structure, and the construction costs (including the CO2 emissions cost) of the RC structure were about 9.8% lower, compared to the S structure. This research provides insights through which the construction industry will be able to respond to the carbon market, which is expected to continue to grow in the future.