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Reducing the total life cycle energy demand of recent residential buildings in Lebanon

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Buildings require a substantive amount of energy for their operation. Recent studies have found that indirect requirements, such as the embodied energy associated with their construction and the transport-related energy of their users can be even more significant. A complete life cycle energy analysis of buildings in a Mediterranean context has seldom been undertaken.

This paper relies on a multi-scale life cycle energy analysis framework to determine the energy use profile of recent residential buildings in Lebanon by taking into account embodied, operational and user transport energy requirements. It studies a representative case study building in Sehaileh, a suburb of the capital Beirut, over 50 years and identifies the most effective ways to reduce energy use across the different life cycle stages and scales of the built environment.

Results show that the life cycle energy demand is dominated by transport energy (49%) followed by operational (33%) and embodied (18%) requirements. The main ways to reduce this life cycle energy demand comprise relocating jobs outside of the capital, putting in place an adequate public transport network, improving town planning to favour pedestrians and rely on gas or renewable energy sources instead of electricity when possible, notably for domestic hot water.