MIPS analysis of natural resource consumption in two university buildings

P Sinivuori, Arto Saari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents the findings of a study to investigate the scale and content of natural resource consumption in two Finnish university buildings, as well as the sensitivity of these calculations to the particular assumptions used. The calculations were made using the MIPS method. In the Physicum building, the main factors contributing to abiotic natural resource consumption were, in order of importance, use-phase electrical energy, mechanical and electrical services, rock excavation, the building's frame and use-phase heating. In the Viikki Info Centre building, the role of heating was less significant. Consumption of biotic natural resources was marginal. In both buildings the majority of water resource consumption was the result of use-phase electrical energy use. Air consumption was mainly the result of the building's heating and electricity use. For abiotic natural resource consumption, the calculations were most sensitive to a halving of the service life of the building. The consumption of water and air was strongly influenced by the type of power plant from which the building's energy sources originated. Reducing the natural resource consumption of a building is something that should be targeted right from the start, at the design stage. Since most of a building's natural resource use is attributable to just a few factors, the calculation and control activities should focus on these very factors, such as use-phase energy, earthworks, the building's frame and copper-containing mechanical and electrical services. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-668
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • MIPS
  • eco-efficiency
  • natural resource consumption
  • management
  • life cycle
  • buildings


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