Abstract

Building stocks constitute enduring components of urban infrastructure systems, but little research exists on their residence time or changing environmental impacts. Using Los Angeles County, California, as a case study, a framework is developed for assessing the changes of building stocks in cities (i.e., a generalizable framework for estimating the construction and deconstruction rates), the residence time of buildings and their materials, and the associated embedded environmental impacts. In Los Angeles, previous land-use decisions prove not easily reversible, and past building stock investments may continue to constrain the energy performance of buildings. The average age of the building stock has increased steadily since 1920 and more rapidly after the post-World War II construction surge in the 1950s. Buildings will likely endure for 60 years or longer, making this infrastructure a quasi-permanent investment. The long residence time, combined with the physical limitations on outward growth, suggest that the Los Angeles building stock is unlikely to have substantial spatial expansion in the future. The construction of buildings requires a continuous investment in material, monetary, and energetic resources, resulting in environmental impacts. The long residence time of structures implies a commitment to use and maintain the infrastructure, potentially creating barriers to an urban area's ability to improve energy efficiency. The immotility of buildings, coupled with future environmental goals, indicates that urban areas will be best positioned by instituting strategies that ensure reductions in life cycle (construction, use, and demolition) environmental impacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-537
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Fingerprint

environmental effect
residence time
building
environmental impact
infrastructure
urban area
demolition
energy
energy efficiency
energetics
life cycle
World War II
land use
Lock-in
Environmental effects
commitment
resource
efficiency
time
Environmental impact

Keywords

  • Buildings
  • Embedded environmental effects
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Industrial ecology
  • Sustainable city
  • Urban infrastructure growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

The Growth of Urban Building Stock : Unintended Lock-in and Embedded Environmental Effects. / Reyna, Janet L.; Chester, Mikhail.

In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 19, No. 4, 01.08.2015, p. 524-537.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{fa25ccb378ae444d8afebdf1d10a5f3b,
title = "The Growth of Urban Building Stock: Unintended Lock-in and Embedded Environmental Effects",
abstract = "Building stocks constitute enduring components of urban infrastructure systems, but little research exists on their residence time or changing environmental impacts. Using Los Angeles County, California, as a case study, a framework is developed for assessing the changes of building stocks in cities (i.e., a generalizable framework for estimating the construction and deconstruction rates), the residence time of buildings and their materials, and the associated embedded environmental impacts. In Los Angeles, previous land-use decisions prove not easily reversible, and past building stock investments may continue to constrain the energy performance of buildings. The average age of the building stock has increased steadily since 1920 and more rapidly after the post-World War II construction surge in the 1950s. Buildings will likely endure for 60 years or longer, making this infrastructure a quasi-permanent investment. The long residence time, combined with the physical limitations on outward growth, suggest that the Los Angeles building stock is unlikely to have substantial spatial expansion in the future. The construction of buildings requires a continuous investment in material, monetary, and energetic resources, resulting in environmental impacts. The long residence time of structures implies a commitment to use and maintain the infrastructure, potentially creating barriers to an urban area's ability to improve energy efficiency. The immotility of buildings, coupled with future environmental goals, indicates that urban areas will be best positioned by instituting strategies that ensure reductions in life cycle (construction, use, and demolition) environmental impacts.",
keywords = "Buildings, Embedded environmental effects, Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Industrial ecology, Sustainable city, Urban infrastructure growth",
author = "Reyna, {Janet L.} and Mikhail Chester",
year = "2015",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/jiec.12211",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "19",
pages = "524--537",
journal = "Journal of Industrial Ecology",
issn = "1088-1980",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Growth of Urban Building Stock

T2 - Unintended Lock-in and Embedded Environmental Effects

AU - Reyna, Janet L.

AU - Chester, Mikhail

PY - 2015/8/1

Y1 - 2015/8/1

N2 - Building stocks constitute enduring components of urban infrastructure systems, but little research exists on their residence time or changing environmental impacts. Using Los Angeles County, California, as a case study, a framework is developed for assessing the changes of building stocks in cities (i.e., a generalizable framework for estimating the construction and deconstruction rates), the residence time of buildings and their materials, and the associated embedded environmental impacts. In Los Angeles, previous land-use decisions prove not easily reversible, and past building stock investments may continue to constrain the energy performance of buildings. The average age of the building stock has increased steadily since 1920 and more rapidly after the post-World War II construction surge in the 1950s. Buildings will likely endure for 60 years or longer, making this infrastructure a quasi-permanent investment. The long residence time, combined with the physical limitations on outward growth, suggest that the Los Angeles building stock is unlikely to have substantial spatial expansion in the future. The construction of buildings requires a continuous investment in material, monetary, and energetic resources, resulting in environmental impacts. The long residence time of structures implies a commitment to use and maintain the infrastructure, potentially creating barriers to an urban area's ability to improve energy efficiency. The immotility of buildings, coupled with future environmental goals, indicates that urban areas will be best positioned by instituting strategies that ensure reductions in life cycle (construction, use, and demolition) environmental impacts.

AB - Building stocks constitute enduring components of urban infrastructure systems, but little research exists on their residence time or changing environmental impacts. Using Los Angeles County, California, as a case study, a framework is developed for assessing the changes of building stocks in cities (i.e., a generalizable framework for estimating the construction and deconstruction rates), the residence time of buildings and their materials, and the associated embedded environmental impacts. In Los Angeles, previous land-use decisions prove not easily reversible, and past building stock investments may continue to constrain the energy performance of buildings. The average age of the building stock has increased steadily since 1920 and more rapidly after the post-World War II construction surge in the 1950s. Buildings will likely endure for 60 years or longer, making this infrastructure a quasi-permanent investment. The long residence time, combined with the physical limitations on outward growth, suggest that the Los Angeles building stock is unlikely to have substantial spatial expansion in the future. The construction of buildings requires a continuous investment in material, monetary, and energetic resources, resulting in environmental impacts. The long residence time of structures implies a commitment to use and maintain the infrastructure, potentially creating barriers to an urban area's ability to improve energy efficiency. The immotility of buildings, coupled with future environmental goals, indicates that urban areas will be best positioned by instituting strategies that ensure reductions in life cycle (construction, use, and demolition) environmental impacts.

KW - Buildings

KW - Embedded environmental effects

KW - Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

KW - Industrial ecology

KW - Sustainable city

KW - Urban infrastructure growth

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84942259362&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84942259362&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/jiec.12211

DO - 10.1111/jiec.12211

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 524

EP - 537

JO - Journal of Industrial Ecology

JF - Journal of Industrial Ecology

SN - 1088-1980

IS - 4

ER -