RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS
Transforming the Norwegian Dwelling Stock to Reach the 2 Degrees Celsius Climate Target
Combining Material Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment Techniques
Article first published online: 18 JAN 2013
© 2013 by Yale University
Journal of Industrial Ecology
Volume 17, Issue 4, pages 542–554, August 2013
How to Cite
Pauliuk, S., Sjöstrand, K. and Müller, D. B. (2013), Transforming the Norwegian Dwelling Stock to Reach the 2 Degrees Celsius Climate Target. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 17: 542–554. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00571.x
- Issue published online: 5 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 18 JAN 2013
- building energy use;
- climate change;
- energy conservation;
- industrial ecology;
Residential buildings account for about one-third of the final energy demand in Norway. Many cost-effective measures for reducing heat losses in buildings are known, and their implementation may make the building sector one of the largest contributors to climate change mitigation.
To determine the sectoral emission reduction potential, we model a complete transformation of the dwelling stock by 2050 by applying both renovation and reconstruction with different energy standards. We propose a new dynamic stock model with an optimization routine to identify and prioritize buildings with the highest energy saving potential. We combine material flow analysis (MFA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) techniques to extend the sectoral boundary beyond direct household emissions.
Despite an expected population growth of almost 50% between 2000 and 2050, sectoral carbon emissions in that period may drop between 30% and 40% for scenarios where the stock is completely transformed by either reconstruction or renovation to the passive house standard. Due to its lower upstream impact, renovation leads to a lower sectoral carbon footprint than reconstruction.
Full transformation, however, is not sufficient to achieve an emissions reduction of 50% or more, as required on average to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, because hot water generation, appliances, and lighting will dominate the sectoral footprint once the stock has been transformed. A first estimate of the additional impact of realistic energy efficiency and lifestyle changes in the nonheating part of the sector reveals a maximal total reduction potential of about 75%.