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A holistic review on life cycle energy of buildings: An analysis from 2009 to 2019


Author: Clyde Zhengdao Li, Xulu Lai, Bing Xiao, Vivian W.Y. Tam , Shan Guo, Yiyu Zhao

Abstract: Energy consumption of buildings is at the forefront of the total energy consumption list, and its environmental impact is increasing, thus making construction industry as a key player in energy. A systematic and comprehensive life cycle perspective assessment of building energy is crucial for maintaining project sustainability. Building energy analysis from life cycle perspective has been increasingly favoured by scholars. However, the links and contents of many literatures have not been summarized and lacking systematic literature research. This review-based research used a holistic analysis approach as the framework. Bibliometrics method in the first stage was used to select 255 papers published during 2009–2019 related to life cycle energy of buildings (LCE-B). Scientometric analysis in the second stage was adopted for identifying the journal sources, scholars, regions and articles that have been fruitful and influential in LCE-B research, and keywords analysis was proposed to preliminarily explore the research topics in the domain (e.g. analysis of optimisation). Results showed that BIM and multi-objective optimisation have become research hotspots recently. An in-depth qualitative discussion in the last stage was conducted to achieve three main objectives: (1) summarise mainstream research topics (e.g. calculation and parameter determination of embodied energy); (2) discuss existing research gaps (e.g. the spatial heterogeneity of embodied energy); and (3) identify future research directions. This study provides a comprehensive knowledge framework combined with philosophical theories that links current research fields with future research trends, providing researchers with multi-disciplinary guidance to gain insight into the latest research on LCE-B.