Getachew Assefa is the Athena Chair in Life Cycle Assessment and an associate professor in the Faculty of Environmental Design. Getachew worked with his student Chelsea Ambler and the University of Calgary Facilities Development team to investigate and compare the potential life cycle environmental impacts of different scenarios for redevelopment of the MacKimmie Library Tower. Scenarios included demolition and new construction versus selective deconstruction and renewal of the tower. They found that repurposing scenarios have 20 to 40 per cent less impact in six out of seven environmental impact categories. These results assisted in the decision to undertake selective deconstruction and renewal of the tower saving significant embodied energy within the concrete structure among other environmental benefits.
“The award means a lot,” says Assefa. It’s great and I feel happy and I wish my student was here but she couldn’t make it. She’s the one who did the real job.”
Read story: Understanding 'cradle-to-cradle' impact