Environmental impacts of building materials and building services components for commercial buildings in Hong Kong

Chi Kwan Chau, F. W H Yik, W. K. Hui, H. C. Liu, H. K. Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


The growing concerns over the environmental impacts of buildings have led to increasing demands for more environmental friendly buildings and building materials. Hitherto, there are not any comprehensive studies that show the overall environmental impact profiles of building materials and building services components for buildings. This paper intends to bridge this gap by reporting overall lifecycle environmental profiles of buildings as well as the ranking orders of environmental impacts of all the building materials and building services materials and components for commercial buildings. Twenty-five commercial buildings in Hong Kong, which include three Grade A office buildings, four Grade B office buildings, one Grade C office buildings, four retail centers and three hotels, have been selected for our study. Based upon these collected samples, no statistical differences were found in the average lifecycle environmental impacts for different building types despite some minor variations were detected. Subsequently, 10 types of building materials and 10 types of building services components have been identified for their significant lifecycle environmental impacts on commercial buildings. Among all, concrete, reinforcement bar, copper power cables, and copper busbars were ranked to be the four most significant materials or components to the total lifecycle environmental impacts. These should form the major targets for improvements in environmental performance of commercial buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1840-1851
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2007


  • Building and building services materials
  • Environmental impacts
  • Lifecycle analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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