Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Embodied Energy

Embodied energy is defined as the available energy that was used in the work of making a product. Embodied energy is an accounting methodology which aims to find the sum total of the energy necessary for an entire product lifecycle. This lifecycle includes raw material extraction, transport, manufacture, assembly, installation, disassembly, deconstruction and/or decomposition.
Studies have shown that the energy embodied within the fabric of buildings is significant and, in the case of large commercial buildings, can be greater than the lifetime operational energy requirement. Despite much work by researchers, there remains a lack of accurate data in the industry. This is particularly so since most manufacturers are reluctant to publish figures which may reveal confidential formulations or ingredients, or expose their products to undue environmental criticism. (