CTBUH and IIT Begin $300,000 Research Project to Study the Life Cycle of Tall Building Structural Systems

Kick-off meeting on November 14, 2012, CTBUH Office, Chicago. Left to right: Olivier Vassart, Antony Wood, Jean-Claude Gerardy, Dario Trabucco, Payam Bahrami

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), in conjunction with Illinois Institute of Technology, has launched a multi-faceted research project to study the life cycles of various tall building structural systems, sponsored by a $300,000 grant from ArcelorMittal.

“A Whole Life Cycle Assessment of the Sustainable Aspects of Structural Systems in Tall Buildings” will create a definitive comparison of the life-cycle implications of steel, concrete and composite structural systems in tall buildings.

The study will also develop a methodology for the assessment of life cycle energy and carbon use in tall building structural systems, which could be adopted as a standard tool for the industry.

This project’s results will provide an essential starting point for both policy and design discussions, said CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood, who will serve as principal investigator for the project.

“The study is particularly timely because it directly addresses the sustainability of tall buildings,” Wood said. “It’s becoming increasingly important to select materials with sustainability in mind.”

The research will be based on the Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis of a number of different structural and construction scenarios in buildings taller than 300 meters. This LCA approach provides a new level of clarity for carbon accounting, which will help to develop more quantitative approaches to green construction in the future.

Read more on the CTBUH website.