Identification of Embodied Environmental Attributes of Construction in Metropolitan and Growth Region of Melbourne, Australia to Support Urban Planning

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Rydlewski, James, Rajabi, Zohreh ORCID: 0000-0002-7479-7652, Tariq, Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman ORCID: 0000-0002-0226-7310, Muttil, Nitin ORCID: 0000-0001-7758-8365, Sidiqui, Paras ORCID: 0000-0001-5623-2458, Shah, Ashfaq Ahmad ORCID: 0000-0001-9142-2441, Khan, Nasir Abbas ORCID: 0000-0002-6079-715X, Irshad, Muhammad, Alam, Arif ORCID: 0000-0001-9413-4197, Butt, Tayyab Ashfaq and Ng, Anne WM ORCID: 0000-0002-7698-9068 (2022) Identification of Embodied Environmental Attributes of Construction in Metropolitan and Growth Region of Melbourne, Australia to Support Urban Planning. Sustainability (Switzerland), 14 (14). ISSN 2071-1050


As growth regions evolve to accommodate the increasing population, they need to develop a wider variety of residential properties to accommodate the varying needs of the residents. As a result, the new accommodation is denser which involves higher embodied water carbon and energy. This research compares the construction differences in metropolitan and growth regions of Melbourne to identify embodied carbon, water, and energy. Representative areas of 25 km2 are selected from both regions. The growth region has 80% of the built area comprised of 2nd generation low-rise residential buildings whereas the prolific construction type in the Metropolitan region is mixed purpose industrial with 30% of the built area comprising of this type. The methodology implies open-source satellite imagery to build a spatial dataset in QGIS. The visual identification of the constructions in the study areas enables to identity the materials used in their construction. The total embodied carbon, water, and energy for the Metropolitan region are 32,895 tonnes, 4192 mL, and 3,694,412 GJ, respectively, whereas in the growth region, the totals are 179,376 tonnes carbon, 2533 mL water, and 2,243,571 GJ. Whilst Metropolitan has a significantly higher overall footprint when this is compared to the population of each region, it is shown that the growth region with its current construction type has a higher embodied carbon, water, and energy per head. The total per head for Metropolitan is 226.7 GJ energy, 257 kL water, and 20 tonnes carbon, whereas in the growth region, the embodied energy, water, and carbon, respectively, per head is 287.4 GJ, 324.6 kL, and 22 tonnes. The current performance per head of the growth region is considerably lower than that of Metropolitan. Using diverse residential construction types and efficient materials can serve the demanding needs of denser populated areas.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/su14148401
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4005 Civil engineering
Current > Division/Research > College of Science and Engineering
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords growth regions, Melbourne, Australia, built environment, construction, carbon footprint
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