Life cycle optimization of building energy systems

Ayat Osman, Bryan A. Norman, Robert Ries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A life cycle optimization model intended to potentially reduce the environmental impacts of energy use in commercial buildings is presented. A combination of energy simulation, life cycle assessment, and operations research techniques are used to develop the model. In addition to conventional energy systems, such as the electric grid and a gas boiler, cogeneration systems which concurrently generate power and heat are investigated as an alternative source of energy. Cogeneration systems appeared to be an attractive alternative to conventional systems when considering life cycle environmental criteria. Internal combustion engine and microturbine (MT) cogeneration systems resulted in a reduction of up to 38% in global warming potential compared with conventional systems, while solid oxide fuel cell and MT cogeneration systems resulted in a reduction of up to 94% in tropospheric ozone precursor potential (TOPP). Results include a Pareto-optimal frontier between reducing costs and reducing the selected environmental indicators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-178
Number of pages22
JournalEngineering Optimization
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Buildings
  • Cogeneration
  • Global warming potential
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Optimization
  • Tropospheric ozone precursors (TOPPs)


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