Effectiveness of mortars composition on the embodied carbon long-term impact

Ana Brás, Paulina Faria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Refurbishment activities represent more than 17% of the saving potential of the EU up to 2050. However, studies on buildings structure and finishing reparation of rendering mortars using LCA are still lacking. An innovative design approach is required to drive the minimisation of embodied carbon using objective performance information of buildings behaviour. This research work is focused on the reparation of rendering mortars and intends to demonstrate that the choice of mortars for buildings affects the maintenance actions needed and can increase the construction environment liability and embodied carbon expenditure. A new leaching risk analysis combined with LCA of different mortars composition (cement and lime based) was implemented enabling to predict the longevity of the rendering and the embodied carbon expenditure on 20th century buildings. It is demonstrated that some mortars may have a higher impact at the outset, such as cement-based mortars, but result in a much lower impact across the building service life. The embodied carbon of repair actions of mortars similar to OPC are expected to reduce the environmental impact of rendering repair actions at least in 10 times in comparison to less hydraulic mortars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-528
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Embodied carbon expenditure
  • LCA
  • Performance based-design
  • Rendering mortars

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