Researchers of this paper have shown interest in low carbon high-rise buildings due to limited available studies in Hong Kong. In this study, a potential pathway to carbon reduction through an extensive use of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) in low energy high-rise buildings is explored. A typical high-rise building model is developed to conduct a comparative lifecycle energy and carbon assessment based on the Zero Emission Building-Operational and Materials Embodied Energy (ZEB-OM) ambition level of the Norwegian Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings. The net total impact is expressed in terms of the Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) and Global Warming Potential (GWP).
The results show an increase in GWP for the material production and maintenance phases due to the use of BIPV façades in the alternative design scenario. However, GWP and operational energy reduction from the BIPV generated power far outweigh the increment caused by its production and maintenance. As a result, about 21% reduction in GWP can be achieved compared with the reference model. Also, the BIPV façade is found to be economically viable with a payback period of 4.13 years. Future research will be expanded to all lifecycle phases and other BIPV materials.
Keywords Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV); Low carbon emission building; Cumulative Energy Demand (CED), Global Warming Potential (GWP)