Journal of Cleaner Production vol:57 pages:188-199
Assisted by designers and contractors, dwelling owners have historically based their decisions (including the choice of building services) on investment costs. Given the increasing interest in the environmental dimension of the built environment, it is also important to include environmental impact in the decisionmaking process. This paper focuses on the life cycle environmental impact and financial costs of heating and ventilation alternatives for new dwellings in Belgium. Insight into the environmental impact and financial costs of correctly dimensioned configurations over the entire life cycle could enable better choices. Commonly used alternatives are considered, as well as more advanced ones. These are compared and the optima are determined, identifying the best choice within a limited budget. The analysis indicates that, in addition to energy-efficiency measures regarding the building skin, a well-designed heating and ventilation system plays an important role in reducing financial costs and environmental
impact over the lifespan of a dwelling. Different heating and ventilation solutions are likely to be selected when initial and life cycle costs are juxtaposed with environmental, financial and total costs. Nevertheless,
preferences based on total costs generally coincide with those based on financial costs.