An Investigation into GHG and non-GHG Impacts of Double Skin Façades in Office Refurbishments

Francesco Pomponi*, Poorang A.E. Piroozfar, Eric R.P. Farr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The building sector is a major contributor to energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and depletion of natural resources. In developed countries, existing buildings represent the majority of the stock, their low-carbon refurbishment hence being one of the most sensible ways to mitigate GHG emissions and reduce environmental impacts of the construction sector. This article has investigated and established the GHG and non-GHG life cycle impacts of several double skin façade (DSF) configurations for office refurbishments by means of a parametric comparative life cycle assessment against up-to-standard single skin façade (SSF) refurbishment solutions. Two different methods were used to assess both GHG emissions and other environmental impacts. Results show that if, on the one hand, most of the DSF configurations assessed actually reduce GHG emissions compared to SSFs over their life cycle-thus supporting a wider adoption of DSFs for low-carbon refurbishments-on the other hand, there exist non-negligible ecological and environmental impacts that the DSF generates, specifically in terms of some materials of the structure and their final disposal. Research attention is thus needed regarding the environmental impacts of the materials used for DSFs and not only in minimizing the energy consumption of the operational phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-248
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Building energy use
  • Demand-side technology
  • Double skin façade
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Low-carbon refurbishment

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