Estimating the environmental suitability of wall materials: preliminary results from Sri Lanka

R. Emmanuel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Despite rapid increases in the building industry's contribution to resource depletion, waste generation and energy consumption, the creation of built environment remains vital to a country's economic development. This makes the building industry a prime candidate for sustainable development. Tools that help estimate the environmental suitability of building products can advance the cause of sustainable development.

In this study, we estimate the environmental suitability of five of the most commonly used wall materials in Sri Lanka (brick, cement masonry unit, cabook, rubble AND wattle and daub). An "Environmental Suitability Index" is developed based on three parameters: embodied energy, life-cycle costs and re-usability. The possibility of using similar indices for other materials in Sri Lanka as well as elsewhere are explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1253-1261
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number10
Early online date11 May 2004
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Sustainable construction
  • Environmental suitability index
  • Embodied energy
  • Life-cycle cost
  • Reusability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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