Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-050112-133815

Document Typethesis
Author NameZhang, Yuxin
TitleA Comprehensive Method for the Selection of Sustainable Materials for Building Construction
DepartmentCivil & Environmental Engineering
  • Salazar, Guillermo F., Advisor
  • Keywords
  • LEED
  • sustainable material selection
  • LCA
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2012-03-13
    Availability unrestricted


    In the design phase of any building industry, appropriate material selection is critical for the entire project. A poor choice of material may affect the quality of the project, lead to high cost during the long term operation and maintenance phases, and even endangering humans and the environment. Since the inception of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1993, ¡°green¡± buildings have become a hot topic and people have become concerned about how sustainable their buildings are. In order to determine the level of sustainability in buildings, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has developed a rating system that has been established now as the common denominator in the industry. However, the LEED rating system simplifies, or even ignores, explicit considerations for Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) in determining the selection of building materials. This lack of explicit consideration for LCA does not permit a full assessment in determining how truly sustainable the chosen materials are.

    This research analyzes the factors impacting the selection of the green materials and reviews the current standards used in green material. It proposes a more comprehensive rating method for the green material selection illustrating its applicability through a case study analysis based on new WPI Sports and Recreation Center. It is expected that this study would contribute to a better understanding of the sustainable materials selection and can improve help to improving their long term performance in buildings.

  • Thesis-YuxinZhang.pdf

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