Reducing Embodied Energy of Floor Assembly: A Case for Using CLT in Mid-Rise Residential Buildings

Abdul Rauf, Muhammed Tariq Shafiq

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Buildings’ energy consumption is estimated between 30 and 40% of its global use, resulting in various environmental impacts. There is a need to reduce the energy consumption by buildings in the construction phase, along with the operation phase, which is well-studied. Concrete is a construction material that is being used widely in the construction industry but has high embodied energy. In the move towards using low-energy materials, new materials and construction technologies are being developed and studied. In this regard, Cross lamented timber (CLT) can be a sustainable alternative due to its excellent load-carrying capabilities, and therefore has become an emerging choice in buildings as a low embodied energy material alternative. This paper aims to explore the potential initial embodied energy reduction benefits by comparing the initial embodied energy consumption of concrete floor systems and CLT floor systems for mid-rise residential buildings. An eight-story apartment building was used for this analysis. This study shows that replacing the reinforced concrete floor with a CLT floor results in more than four times reduction in embodied energy associated with floor construction. This demonstrates the need for careful selection of materials in buildings at the design stage to reduce their embodied energy and consider the use of CLT instead of reinforced concrete in this context. Results from this initial study also indicate the need for more studies to address the challenges associated with the adoption of this low embodied energy material.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd International Civil Engineering and Architecture Conference - CEAC 2023
EditorsMarco Casini
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9789819963676
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event3rd International Civil Engineering and Architecture Conference, CEAC 2023 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Mar 17 2023Mar 20 2023

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


Conference3rd International Civil Engineering and Architecture Conference, CEAC 2023


  • Construction materials
  • Cross-laminated timber
  • Floor assembly
  • Initial embodied energy
  • Input–output based hybrid assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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