Authors: Yiru Huang, Duo Xu, Clark E. Llewellyn
The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has become a controversial topic that must be considered seriously. It has been suggested that shared spaces within buildings have a considerable negative effect on carbon emission both at the construction and operating phases because of its influence on the building shape. Therefore, they are not often embraced in low-energy, high efficient buildings. However, shared space, such as an open urban oriented ground floor or public/private balconies can provide amenities for residents decrease the dependence on motorized, carbon producing, vehicles. This study will consider the open, and urban connected, ground floor as an example to analyze the physical and social performance effects on carbon emission in urban high density residential projects. The study shows that shared spaces in residential projects play an important role in carbon reduction. By changing the social/work patterns of the residents, the decrease in total carbon emission is 3 fold the increase of the building carbon footprint caused by redesign of the envelope. When viewed over the life cycle of the building, the savings increases to 20 times greater savings of carbon. This process provides a valuable pre-design reference for future residential buildings. By shifting the sustainable perspective from energy savings to carbon emissions.
Keywords: Low-carbon; residential; energy consumption;shared space