Environmental Impact of Membrane and Foil Materials and Structures – Status Quo and Future Outlook
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In early times and until the 1970s most of the membrane structures built were meant to be temporary. This applies to early Roman shading systems, military, nomad and circus tents, as well as to Frei Otto’s early oeuvres. The global building sector as a whole, is of great importance with regard to a future sustainable use of our planet’s resources: Here, approx. 50% of all primary resources and 40% of all primary energy are used, and 30% of all green house gases are produced. Also, the sector is responsible for up to 40% of all solid waste1. This paper2 provides an overview on the complex aspects of environmental impacts of membrane materials and structures, and how to meassure them using life cycle assessment methodology. It briefly shows where this kind of information is used (e.g., for building assessment systems/rating schemes) and finally indicates the current status in the membrane sector.
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