Purpose: Decarbonizing cities is one of today biggest challenges. In this regard, particular attention has been paid on improving the environmental performance of buildings. In this framework, this work consists in assessing the environmental impact of an innovative building envelope component derived from urban agriculture (UA) wastes. In fact, rooftop UA seems to be a possible solution to the rising food demand due to increasing urban demographic growth. Consequently, rooftop UA wastes need to be treated in sustainable ways. Methods: This study aims to determine the carbon footprint and embodied energy of a new infill wall material, derived from UA wastes produced by a building rooftop greenhouse tomato crop, and evaluate the potential biogenic carbon that such by-product could fix temporally until its end of life. After an initial description of the manufacturing process of the new material, its carbon footprint and embodied energy have been calculated by means of the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology according to the ISO 14044 and the ISO 14067 guidelines adapted to the analyzed context. In particular, the inventory analysis is based on data collected from the production of samples of the new material at the laboratory scale. Results and discussion: The results of the LCA indicate that, when the biogenic carbon fixed in the UA wastes is considered, a negative carbon footprint of -0.2 kg CO2 eq. per kg of material can be obtained. Hence, it can be assumed that from a life cycle perspective the material is able to fix carbon emissions instead of emitting them. Specifically, for the considered scenario, approximately 0.42 kg CO2 eq./m2 per year could be sequestered. However, the crop area required to produce enough waste to manufacture a unit of material is quite high. Therefore, future studies should focus on individuate solutions to reduce the density of the new component, and also different urban crops with higher waste production rates. Conclusions: The outcomes of the study put in evidence the potential of the new proposed infill wall component in fixing carbon emissions from UA, allowing to also compensate those relating to the production and transportation stages of the component life cycle. Moreover, producing by-products with UA wastes, hence temporally storing the carbon fixed by crops, may contribute to reduce the carbon cycles speed conversely to traditional waste management solutions, other than lower new raw materials depletion.

Llorach-Massana P., Cirrincione L., Sierra-Perez J., Scaccianoce G., La Gennusa M., Pena J., et al. (2023). Environmental assessment of a new building envelope material derived from urban agriculture wastes: the case of the tomato plants stems. THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT, 28(7), 813-827 [10.1007/s11367-023-02152-2].

Environmental assessment of a new building envelope material derived from urban agriculture wastes: the case of the tomato plants stems

Cirrincione L.
;
Scaccianoce G.;La Gennusa M.;
2023-07-01

Abstract

Purpose: Decarbonizing cities is one of today biggest challenges. In this regard, particular attention has been paid on improving the environmental performance of buildings. In this framework, this work consists in assessing the environmental impact of an innovative building envelope component derived from urban agriculture (UA) wastes. In fact, rooftop UA seems to be a possible solution to the rising food demand due to increasing urban demographic growth. Consequently, rooftop UA wastes need to be treated in sustainable ways. Methods: This study aims to determine the carbon footprint and embodied energy of a new infill wall material, derived from UA wastes produced by a building rooftop greenhouse tomato crop, and evaluate the potential biogenic carbon that such by-product could fix temporally until its end of life. After an initial description of the manufacturing process of the new material, its carbon footprint and embodied energy have been calculated by means of the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology according to the ISO 14044 and the ISO 14067 guidelines adapted to the analyzed context. In particular, the inventory analysis is based on data collected from the production of samples of the new material at the laboratory scale. Results and discussion: The results of the LCA indicate that, when the biogenic carbon fixed in the UA wastes is considered, a negative carbon footprint of -0.2 kg CO2 eq. per kg of material can be obtained. Hence, it can be assumed that from a life cycle perspective the material is able to fix carbon emissions instead of emitting them. Specifically, for the considered scenario, approximately 0.42 kg CO2 eq./m2 per year could be sequestered. However, the crop area required to produce enough waste to manufacture a unit of material is quite high. Therefore, future studies should focus on individuate solutions to reduce the density of the new component, and also different urban crops with higher waste production rates. Conclusions: The outcomes of the study put in evidence the potential of the new proposed infill wall component in fixing carbon emissions from UA, allowing to also compensate those relating to the production and transportation stages of the component life cycle. Moreover, producing by-products with UA wastes, hence temporally storing the carbon fixed by crops, may contribute to reduce the carbon cycles speed conversely to traditional waste management solutions, other than lower new raw materials depletion.
lug-2023
Settore ING-IND/11 - Fisica Tecnica Ambientale
Llorach-Massana P., Cirrincione L., Sierra-Perez J., Scaccianoce G., La Gennusa M., Pena J., et al. (2023). Environmental assessment of a new building envelope material derived from urban agriculture wastes: the case of the tomato plants stems. THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT, 28(7), 813-827 [10.1007/s11367-023-02152-2].
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
s11367-023-02152-2.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione Editoriale
Dimensione 1.53 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.53 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/586397
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 7
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 7
social impact