Sustainability, Vol. 11, Pages 4487: Assessment of Sustainable Construction Measures in Building Refurbishment--Life Cycle Comparison of Conventional and Multi-Active Fašade Systems in a Social Housing Complex (Sustainability)
Building refurbishment plays a key role in the de-carbonization of the European building stock. Whilst the renewal of the thermal envelope increases energy efficiency during the operational phase, the type of material is highly relevant for the overall environmental impact of the refurbishment. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is most widely used for external thermal insulation systems but is also a material based on fossil resources. Thus, alternatives made from renewable raw materials must be more widely used in order to reach the climate goals. However, comparable data on long-term material effects over the life cycle are needed for developers and planners to make informed decisions. In a Viennese case study for the largest social housing property manager in Europe, two different façade systems have been analyzed to assess the overall environmental impact of the materials. In a comprehensive life cycle assessment, a Multi-Active Façade system based on recycled paper has been compared with a conventional external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) using EPS. It shows that whilst the evaluation during the operational phase alone results in a similar ecological footprint of the ETICS, the analysis over the whole life cycle provides a clear positive indication for the novel Multi-Active Façade.