The exploration of the life-cycle energy saving potential for using prefabrication in residential buildings in China

Han Zhu, Jingke Hong, Qiping Shen, Chao Mao, Hejia Zhang, Zhengrong Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


China's rapid urbanization along with the development of the modern economy is certain to result in a long-standing and substantial energy demand in the entire society. Therefore, industrialization in building construction is a vital strategy for alleviating adverse environmental burdens and accelerating urbanization with the current construction practice. An integrated method was employed to evaluate the life cycle energy performance of prefabricated buildings, using the process-based hybrid life cycle assessment and scenario-based energy simulation as the underlying methods. Results revealed the less obvious energy reduction potential of prefabricated buildings during the embodied phase. During the building operation phase, the scenario and comparative analyses from a life-cycle perspective indicate that prefabrication generates environmental gains by providing enhanced thermal performance. A regional level policy analysis reveals the backwards status quo of the precast construction in Northern and Western China. Given the significance of using prefabrication in building energy conservation, it is quite urgent and necessary to establish a mature construction market with highly evolved industrialization in these "backward" regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-570
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Hybrid LCA
  • Industrialization in building construction
  • Life-cycle energy assessment
  • Prefabrication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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