Sustainable design for reinforced concrete columns through embodied energy and CO2 emission optimization

Young Cheol Yoon, Kyeong Hwan Kim, Sang Ho Lee, Donghun Yeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents a sustainable design method that optimizes the embodied energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of a reinforced concrete (RC) column. Conventionally, the design of RC structures has been focused on the minimization of construction costs while satisfying the structural design code. Recently, however, sustainability aspect in structural design has drawn big attention to structural engineers, especially for structure life cycle assessment. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the relationship between construction costs and consumption of energy including CO2 emissions, in the design process of RC structures. In the sustainable design process, the objective functions for the cost, embodied energy, and CO2 emissions were set and numerous optimization analyses for various loading conditions were conducted as the failure mode of RC columns varies according to the eccentricity involving the axial forces and moment. A thorough investigation of the optimization analysis results shows that, when a 10% cost increase is assumed, the embodied energy and CO2 emissions might undergo an overall reduction of up to 22% and 63%, respectively. As a result, the proposed design method enables the embodied energy and CO2 emissions to be effectively optimized in the conventional design process of RC columns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT &Future Planning ( NRF-2017R1A1A1A05001196 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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