Assessment of CO2 Emissions Reduction in High-Rise Concrete Office Buildings Using Different Material-Use Options

Chi Kwan Chau, W. K. Hui, W. Y. Ng, T. M. Leung, J. M. Xu

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


This study applied the Monte Carlo method to generate probabilistic distributions for describing the CO2 footprint of the superstructure of a high-rise concrete office building. The distribution profile was constructed with the material-use data collected from 13 high-rise concrete office buildings in Hong Kong. Results indicated that the average carbon footprint of the superstructure of an office building was 215.1kg CO2/m22. External walls and upper-floor construction had the highest CO2 footprint, followed by suspended ceilings and finishes. These three elements altogether accounted for an average of 84.2% of the CO2 footprint associated with the superstructure. Also, this study evaluated the emissions-reduction impacts of five different material-use options over a 60-year lifespan. Among all the studied options, the most effective option was to maintain 15-30% of the existing structural and nonstructural building elements as this could reduce the CO2 footprint by 17.3%. Diverting construction wastes to recycling could reduce the CO2 footprint by 5.9%. Reusing resources and importing regional materials could only reduce the CO2 footprint by 3.2% and 3.1%, respectively. In contrast, the CO2 footprint would be increased by 5% if offsite fabricated materials were used in facades, slabs, and partition walls.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Low Carbon Concrete
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780128045404
ISBN (Print)9780128045244
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2016


  • High-rise concrete office buildings
  • Life cycle carbon emissions
  • Material-use options

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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