Return to search

Whole life energy analysis of recycled shipping containers for housing

Although an efficient form of transhipment, shipping containers accumulated in ports due to global trade imbalances thus not effectively reused and are expensive to dispose of. The aim of this research is to study the energy saving property of a shipping container-structured house (SCH) with high quality external insulation in Glasgow (UK) and Beijing (China) based on its whole life cycle energy performance. The two selected cities represent developed and developing countries which require heating in winter and are representative of the global imbalances in trade. The energy saving property was analysed through comparing the estimated whole life energy between simulated case-study houses under variable scenarios. Apart from demonstration of energy saving in recycled shipping container house in Glasgow and Beijing, this investigation also examines factors affecting the simulation accuracy, factors affecting energy-saving design features for both cities. The analysis of whole life cycle energy was divided into two major parts: embodied energy (EE) and operating energy (OE), and their estimates were conducted separately using different methods. EE was calculated by life energy cycle assessment based on carbon and energy inventories of the key materials, construction methods, recycling process and transportations; OE, mainly in heating energy, is achieved from building simulation (using IES-VE software) in both cities validated by on-site measured data from a case-study house built in Glasgow, UK. The simulation input data include building geometry, local climate conditions (outdoor temperatures, solar radiation, etc.), building heating and ventilation system and usage profiles, external insulation U-values of major components; outputs include dynamic room temperatures and the corresponding energy consumption during the simulation period. Due to various assumptions made in the simulations and calculations, there are uncertainties in the estimates of both EE and OE. Nevertheless, results show that recycling used shipping containers into steel frames for housing could save 90MWh (34%) in embodied energy, compared with using steel frames made from virgin steel. In terms of operational energy, the mean error between measured and simulated indoor temperature is 0.72°C with a standard deviation of 1.48°C, and the difference between simulated and actual energy consumption was about 14%. Compared with statistical data based on the current housing stock and on expected energy consumption according to current building regulations, an SCH insulated to Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 can save 2.9MWh per year (26%) and 3.9MWh per year (34%) OE in Glasgow and Beijing respectively, compared with houses with houses built to 2013 building regulations. The findings can confirm the feasibility of SCH in theory and provide reference to the further study. To supplement, a SAP assessment, an analysis of key impacting factors analysis and further development outlook are included.
Date January 2016
CreatorsZhang, Lejin
PublisherGlasgow Caledonian University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

Page generated in 0.4126 seconds