A case study about embodied energy in concrete and structural masonry buildings


  • Marco Aurelio Gonzalez Stumpf Unisinos – PPGEC/MPArqUrb (Brazil).
  • Marlova Piva Kulakowski Unisinos - PPGEC (Brazil)
  • Luciano G. Breitenbach Unisinos - PPGEM (Brazil).
  • Felipe Kirch Baliza Empreendimentos Imobiliários Ltda (Brazil).


Civil construction, sustainability, embodied energy, concrete, masonry


Building industry has a large environmental responsibility. All common materials have environmental impacts during their production process, but designers may choice the materials and techniques with less impact among the viable options. The objective of this work is to examine embodied energy in materials of two traditional constructive alternatives, in the region of São Leopoldo, a city in southern Brazil. Construction options considered are the reinforced concrete structure and the structural masonry. The study was developed under investigation of a social housing project typical in the region. We calculate the amounts of materials and the energy contained in them. The results indicated that the energy embodied in these two constructive systems is approximately 1.72 GJ.m-2 and 1.26 GJ.m-2, respectively. It may be concluded that the embodied energy is lower in the structural masonry system, with a reduction around to 1/4 in relation to the reinforced concrete option. The results can be used to help design decisions.




How to Cite

Gonzalez Stumpf, M. A., Piva Kulakowski, M., G. Breitenbach, L., & Kirch Baliza, F. (2014). A case study about embodied energy in concrete and structural masonry buildings. Revista De La Construcción. Journal of Construction, 13(2), 09–14. Retrieved from https://revistadelaconstruccion.uc.cl/index.php/RDLC/article/view/13528

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