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

Francesco Pomponi, Poorang Piroozfar, Eric R.P. Farr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The building sector is a major contributor to energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions, and depletion of natural resources. In developed countries, existing buildingsrepresent the majority of the stock, their low-carbon refurbishment hence being one of themost sensible ways to mitigate GHG emissions and reduce environmental impacts of theconstruction sector. This article has investigated and established the GHG and non-GHG lifecycle impacts of several double skin fac¸ade (DSF) configurations for office refurbishmentsby means of a parametric comparative life cycle assessment against up-to-standard singleskin fac¸ade (SSF) refurbishment solutions. Two different methods were used to assessboth GHG emissions and other environmental impacts. Results show that if, on the onehand, most of the DSF configurations assessed actually reduce GHG emissions comparedto SSFs over their life cycle-thus supporting a wider adoption of DSFs for low-carbonrefurbishments-on the other hand, there exist non-negligible ecological and environmentalimpacts that the DSF generates, specifically in terms of some materials of the structure andtheir final disposal. Research attention is thus needed regarding the environmental impactsof the materials used for DSFs and not only in minimizing the energy consumption of theoperational phase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-248
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Pomponi, F., Piroozfar, P. A.E. and Farr, E. R.P. (2015), An Investigation into GHG and non-GHG Impacts of Double Skin Façades in Office Refurbishments. Journal of Industrial Ecology, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


  • building energy use
  • demand-side technology
  • double skin façade
  • environmental impact assessment
  • life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • low-carbon refurbishment


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