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Title: Uncertainty analysis for measuring greenhouse gas emissions in the building construction phase : a case study in China
Authors: Hong, JK 
Shen, GQP 
Peng, Y
Feng, Y 
Mao, C
Keywords: Building construction phase
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
Life cycle assessment (LCA)
Uncertainty analysis
Issue Date: Aug-2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Journal of cleaner production, 15 Aug. 2016, v. 129, p. 183-195 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of cleaner production 
Abstract: Uncertainty analysis is useful in determining whether the results of life cycle assessment are sufficiently reliable and valid when making optimal decisions. However, only a few studies have measured carbon emissions by considering the inherent uncertainty during building construction phase that may result in the misinterpretation of critical parameters. To address such weakness, a multi-method-based uncertainty analysis framework was developed in view of the basic characteristics of the construction practice. This framework integrated the deterministic and probabilistic approaches to facilitate the uncertainty assessment in quantifying carbon emissions and to provide insights into the sensitive construction activities from the uncertainty perspective. The developed framework was examined through a mix-use project in Guangzhou China. Results showed that the uncertainties in the measurement method and geographic representativeness are the major uncertainty sources for the building construction phase. The total greenhouse gas emission for the target building was 8791.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent with a 9.8% coefficient of variation, which was in line with the result calculated by the deterministic method and with the result extrapolated based on the data collected from China. The results of the scenario analysis showed that the proportion of 1% in contribution analysis and the coefficient of variation of 18% in uncertainty analysis can be regarded as the baseline for determining the critical input parameters. This study lends a useful tool for monitoring the uncertainty of LCA studies in the construction practice. In addition, this framework can facilitate to avoid the misinterpretation of the final results during the decision-making process. Although this study focuses on Chinese construction industry, it also provides good references for measuring uncertainty of greenhouse gas emissions of construction industries around the world.
ISSN: 0959-6526
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.04.085
Rights: © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Cleaner Production. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. The definitive version Hong J.K., Shen Q.P., Peng Y., Feng Y., Mao C. (2016). Uncertainty Analysis for Measuring Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Building Construction Phase: A Case Study in China, Journal of Cleaner Production, 129, 183-195 is available at
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