Energy use in buildings accounts for nearly half of the total primary energy use in Hong Kong. Until now, studies have primarily focused on energy conservation in building operation, even though recent research has indicated that the embodied energy used in residential buildings could account for up to 40% of the life-cycle energy used in residential buildings. Accordingly, this paper presents a study on the energy embodied in the residential building envelope of Hong Kong. A model for estimating the intensities of the embodied and demolition energy for buildings has been developed. Two typical high-rise residential buildings, the Housing Authority Harmony I and the New Cruciform blocks, are analysed based on the developed model. The results of the analysis provide an insight into the embodied energy usage profile in residential buildings in Hong Kong. Energy embodied in steel and aluminium ranks as the first and second largest energy demand and may account for more than three-quarters of the total embodied energy use in a residential building envelope in Hong Kong. This reveals those building components with significant potential for reduction in embodied energy demand.
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