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Life Cycle Assessment and Carbon Neutrality in Steel Structures

Abstract

Elsaid Niaounakis

The construction industry plays a significant role in global carbon emissions, prompting the need for sustainable practices and carbon neutrality. Steel, a commonly used construction material, has gained attention due to its environmental impact. This article explores the concept of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and its role in achieving carbon neutrality in steel structures. LCA evaluates the environmental impacts of a product or system throughout its life cycle, from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal. By analyzing the embodied carbon emissions in steel production, transportation, fabrication, construction, maintenance and eventual dismantling, LCA provides insights into the overall environmental footprint of steel structures. Moreover, strategies for achieving carbon neutrality, such as using recycled steel, optimizing structural design and implementing renewable energy sources in production, are discussed. The article emphasizes the importance of collaboration among stakeholders, including designers, manufacturers and policymakers, to drive the adoption of sustainable practices in the construction industry. Achieving carbon neutrality in steel structures through rigorous LCA and strategic interventions can pave the way for a more sustainable and environmentally responsible built environment.

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