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B. D Meester, J. Dewulf, S. Verbekea, A. Janssensb, and H. V Langenhove (2009)

Exergetic life-cycle assessment (ELCA) for resource consumption evaluation in the built environment

Building and Environment 44, 44:11-17.

Resource management becomes a key issue in the development of sustainable technology. This paper envisages a quantification of all energy and material needs for a family dwelling, both for the construction aspects (‘embodied energy and materials’) and usage aspects. To do so, an exergetic life-cycle assessment has been carried out that enables the quantification of all necessary natural energy and material resources simultaneously. The case study covered 65 optimized Belgian family dwelling types with low energy input (56 MJ/(m3 year)). The study shows that cumulative annual exergy demand is of the order of 65 GJexergy/year, with a limited dependency on the construction type: cavity wall, external insulation or wooden frame. For the cavity wall and external insulation building type, nonrenewable inputs are dominant for the construction with 85–86% of the total exergy to be extracted out of the environment. For the wooden frame, non-renewable resource intake for construction remains 62%. Despite the low-energy building type, heating requirements during the use phase are dominant in the overall resource intake with a 60% of the total annual exergy consumption. In order to make family dwellings less fossil resource dependant, the study learns that particularly reduction of heating requirements should be envisaged.

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The Material Limits of Energy Transition: Thanatia

Antonio Valero Capilla, Alicia Valero Delgado and Guiomar Calvo

This book provides a holistic view of raw mineral depletion in the context of renewable energy transistion.

The material limits Thanatia


Thanatia. Los límites minerales del planeta

mites minerales del planeta

 Antonio Valero Capilla and Alicia Valero Delgado interviewed by Adrián Almazán

We need a material transition, not only energetic, that restores nature and effectively reuses materials. Gaia must be cared for by extending life on Earth and slowing its degradation towards Thanatia.

Thanatia los limites


Thermodynamics for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Cover Thermodynamics

Wojciech Stanek (Editor)

This book examines ways of assessing the rational management of nonrenewable resources. Integrating numerous methods, it systematically exposes the strengths of exergy analysis in resources management.

Thanatia: The Destiny of the Earth's Mineral Resources

Cover Thanatia

A Thermodynamic Cradle-to-Cradle Assessment by (author): Antonio Valero Capilla and Alicia Valero Delgado

Is Gaia becoming Thanatia, a resource exhausted planet? For how long can our high-tech society be sustained in the light of declining mineral ore grades, heavy dependence on un-recycled critical metals and accelerated material dispersion? These are all root causes of future disruptions that need to be addressed today.